Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.84
Liaison Andrew Horning
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Michigan
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Andrew Horning
Managing Director
Graham Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) aims to promote a sustainable campus culture at the University of Michigan, by bringing people together to achieve social change. SSC uses the Collective Impact Framework to create a mutually defined common agenda and shared vision that unifies campus-wide student sustainability efforts.
SSC isn’t a club or member organization — rather, they’re a small group of students who work closely with the Graham Sustainability Institute, the Office of Campus Sustainability, Student Life, and the many student organizations on campus to advance sustainability. To that end, they’re here to build connections, foster new partnerships, and amplify initiatives already underway.
What They Do:
- Help you get involved and stay informed about campus sustainability by curating a biweekly newsletter.
- Offer funding (in the form of grants) for great sustainability-related student ideas.
- Connect you with the sustainability-focused student organizations that best match your passions.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens is a student-driven multi-stakeholder living learning lab for sustainable food systems work built around principles of food grown by students for students, on-farm carbon-neutrality, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, in a learning community that fosters student leadership development and high-impact teaching, research, and learning opportunities.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

180 Degrees Consulting - 180 Degrees Consulting at the University of Michigan provides socially conscious organizations around Michigan with high quality and affordable consulting services. We work with organizations to develop innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions for the challenges they face.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Social Venture Fund- Student governed- Launched in September 2009 by a group of MBA students, the University of Michigan Social Venture Fund (SVF) invests in and supports innovative companies that place social impact at the heart of their business model. SVF fosters the growth of enterprises responding to societal needs that traditional markets have insufficiently addressed. As the first student-run social venture fund in the country, SVF provides an unparalleled action-based learning experience, which places equal importance on maximizing financial returns and socially/environmentally-driven venture investing and entrepreneurship. SVF invests in early-stage (Seed, Bridge, or Series A), for-profit enterprises within four circles - Climate, Community Development, Education, Health.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

Rooting For Change, the University of Michigan’s Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP)’s Student Food Summit. This two-day summit consists of Zoom webinars and learn-shops, includes a conversation about food systems, networking with fellow sustainable foodies, participation in learning workshops, listening to tiny talks on food justice and more. http://studentlife.umich.edu/parents/article/rooting-change-umsfp-summit

MUSE Conference 2022 - theme: Sustainability and Environment After Catastrophe. The conference aims to connect researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts from across different disciplines engaged in sustainability and environment-related research to foster collaborations and actions beyond research. The Michigan University-wide Sustainability & Environment (MUSE) Initiative functions through democratic and student-led work, comprised of three main elements: the Workshop, the Social, and the Conference. http://muse-initiative.umich.edu/

Michigan Environmental Justice Summit 2020 - The Michigan Environmental Justice (EJ) Summit 2020 commemorated the 30th Anniversary of the 1990 “Michigan Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards". To honor that event—and to inspire a "call to action" moving forward, the 2020 Summit brought dynamic national and regional community leaders, along with SEAS students. Kicking off the Summit, the EJ Student Flash Talks showcased interdisciplinary research and projects from the next generation of environmental justice advocates. In a series of fast-paced Flash Talks, 12 students presented their findings on a wide spectrum of pressing environmental justice issues—ranging from food-access inequities to the restoration of tribal lands. Working across disciplines with community partners, these students bring fresh voices and a sharp lens to equity, justice, and environmental challenges.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

The University offers many art/cultural events open to students as well as to the general public. Few examples include:
- The Living Earth Show: Tremble Staves Workshop Performance - a wordless water opera synthesizing mixed media installation, manipulation of natural and artificial light and sound, and theatrical performance depicting the urgent but approaching crisis of water shortage burdening the region from California to the Navajo deserts
- Annual Harvest Festival - celebrating the harvest season with food, music, farm tours, and activities for people of all ages! Harvest Fest connects participants with student groups and community organizations who are dedicated to strengthening the local food system.
- Oil on Water: Painting on Linen - Danielle Eubank is an award-winning artist who has been on four international sailing expeditions and painted every ocean on the planet to raise awareness about the oceans and climate change.
- Ripple Effect - interactive art exhibition that visualizes local water quality data through sound, light, and water. Through software technology, water contamination data is translated into sound waves.
- Shrines & Reliquaries: Memorializing Climate - he landscape shrines in this exhibit combine her work as an environmental artist with the experience of that pristine, remote, beautiful, and at risk environment. The mixed media boxes – utilizing painting, monotype, photography, resin and encaustic – capture memories of places being altered by climate change.
- Uncommon Plants from Our Unique Places. Images of the Great Lakes Gardens - As part of the winter 2020 LSA theme semester, the exhibition "Uncommon Plants" offers a rare glimpse of the diverse plant life and ecosystems of the Great Lakes through the lens of photographer Laura Mueller.
- PBSL Sustainable Fashion Show - celebrating the commitment to buying second-hand clothing with an exhibition of some of the best thrift finds
- Animal/Vegetable/Mineral Art Exhibit - In this RC Art Gallery exhibit, Residential College and Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design Professor of Art Susan Crowell presents, among other works, a series of wall plaques depicting endangered species.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Outdoor Adventures- Not student governed- Student Life’s Outdoor Adventures leads outdoor educational and recreational opportunities for all students, regardless of prior experience, including classes in wilderness medicine and outdoor skills like backcountry cooking and building outdoor shelters. For those who just want to get outside, Outdoor Adventures’ leads trips on weekends and breaks; past destinations have included dogsledding in the Upper Peninsula, canoeing and kayaking the Huron River, and backpacking the Grand Canyon.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Great Lakes Theme Semester - The impact of the Great Lakes goes far beyond the shoreline. Throughout history, the lakes have touched lives, hidden secrets, sustained industry, and influenced society. Titled Lake Effects, the Great Lakes Theme Semester encouraged campus-wide conversation about the history, cultures, and environments that have shaped the Great Lakes region. We looked back, but also forward at the pressing challenges and transformative possibilities that the coming years will bring.
The Winter 2020 Great Lakes Theme Semester featured theme-related courses in multiple schools and departments, in addition to speakers, films, exhibits, colloquia, and place-based experiential learning events open to the public.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Planet Blue Ambassador - Not student governed - The Planet Blue Ambassador program is the entry point to sustainability at the University of Michigan. Its goal is to empower students, staff and alumni with the information and resources they need to live, work, and learn sustainably at U-M. The Planet Blue Ambassador Certification consists of five training modules directly connected to U-M’s sustainability goals in energy, food, waste, water, and community. This program trains U-M community members in sustainable culture and behavior. Each 5-10 minute module includes an interactive game with suggestions to get involved, as well as information about U-M’s goals and progress to date. Once certified, Planet Blue Ambassadors will have access to a personal online dashboard where they can track their progress and access resources about sustainable behaviors. Planet Blue Ambassadors will also be invited to bi-annual meetings to share best practices and experiences, as well as other events to receive further sustainability training, discuss issues, share ideas, and discover resources.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

There are many students employed through the Graham Sustainability Institute, Office of Campus Sustainability, Student Life, Campus Farm, Botanical garden, UM Dining, Maize and Blue Cupboard to name a few. Students assist with programs such as Planet Blue Ambassador program (http://planetblue.umich.edu/campus/get-involved/pba/), the Graham Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program (http://graham.umich.edu/scholars), Student Sustainability Coalition (https://graham.umich.edu/ssc), PBSL (https://planetblue.umich.edu/campus/about/partners/student-life/about-us/pbsl) and many more.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

The Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord program is designed to recognize students who went above and beyond to advance their knowledge, skills, and practice of sustainability ethics while studying at the University of Michigan.
The acceptance to the Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord program will allow students to:
- Receive an Excellence in Sustainability Honors Cord for graduation
- Join an exclusive alumni LinkedIn Network
- The opportunity to be part of a sustainability spotlight series

Ginsberg Center Social Responsibility Graduation Pledge- Not student governed- Pledge: I pledge to actively work toward a more socially and environmentally responsible world. I will continue to honor these words long after graduation in my career, relationships, and all other pursuits, and encourage others to embrace this message as well.

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.