Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Shane Stennes
Submission Date Dec. 15, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 August Horner
Sustainability Student Asst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

Students for Sustainability

Group Description
We take collective action to reduce the university's impact on the environment and human health.
Group's principal activities, events, or programs:
We work on a variety of initiatives including food, land, energy, and waste issues. We have recently started the West Bank Community Garden through a University Program: Living, Learning, Laboratory. We use weekly meetings to organize our initiatives, brainstorm creative solutions, and network with twin cities organizations. Along with the community garden, we have been heavily focusing on organics recycling efforts with the Recycling Center, Minnesota Student Association, and other groups.
How this group's activities benefit the University community:
We have benefitted the university by using university land engage students in the process of growing food and pollinator habitat. This ultimately has grown a large network of over one hundred Cedar Riverside residents, students, staff and faculty to become familiar with one another and talk inside and outside a professional setting. Organics recycling will greatly benefit the university because compostable materials are worth more than a waste product heading to a land-fill or incinerator.
How this group fits into its categories:
We belong in the Environment/Sustainability category because of our commitment to sustainability.
How to get involved with this group:
Our group meets weekly on the East Bank campus. If anyone is interested in becoming apart of our group, they can contact us at sfors@umn.edu. There is no application to be a part of our group and students who are new to sustainability, those that are familiar, and those that want to take on a project of their own are all welcome to join.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

Cornercopia Student Organic Farm

Group Description
This group is the official means for students to be involved year-round in the University's student-run organic farm, where they can get experiential education producing sustainable food on the Saint Paul campus.
Group's principal activities, events, or programs:
This group exists to: 1. steward a student-managed, organic, sustainable farm that provides food, a place for community building, multidisciplinary education, research and outreach; 2. increase and facilitate student involvement and leadership of the University of Minnesota Student Organic Farm and provide an official means for students to take part in farm operations and activities; 3. maximize continuity, communication, and documentation between student farm workers and growing seasons; 4. take part in and raise awareness of the broader conversations and communities surrounding urban, sustainable, and alternative food systems.
How this group's activities benefit the University community:
We provide the university community with fresh, sustainably grown produce year-round, provide hands-on experience for students interested in sustainable farming, educate the community about sustainable food choices, and provide empowering information and experiences for those who seek to grow their own food, whether casually or professionally.
How this group fits into its categories:
Although this group could potentially fit into several categories, we chose to categorize ourselves in three primary ways: educational, sustainability, and professional. We are educational because experiential farm education is such a huge part of what students get from being involved with Cornercopia, but also because of our mission to help inform the University community learn about sustainable food. We are a professional group because we provide real on-farm job skills, up to and including managing budgets and business plans. We are a sustainability group because we work to produce and propagate chemical-free food with a positive environmental footprint.
How to get involved with this group:
In addition to regular farm work year-round, we will hold weekly meetings at the main farm field during the growing season (May-Sept), and monthly meetings in the Greenhouse classroom building during the rest of the year. No membership application will be necessary, information will be available through our web page and group email address, and members of the communications committee will be charged with contacting interested students. This group will provide opportunities for many levels of involvement, from casual volunteering to budget management.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

Environmental Sciences Policy & Management

Group Description
The ESPM Student Association (ESA) is a student-run university organization for students who are majoring, minoring, and/or interested in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (ESPM). ESA holds weekly meetings to discuss concerns and answer questions regarding the ESPM major. We also talk about and plan ongoing ESA projects and events, such as camping trips, Eco-U (an exciting environmental symposium), and Earth-Day-Palooza (a large-scale Earth Day event on campus). Our meetings are always fun, unpredictable, and sometimes have treats! Meetings are held on Thursdays at 6:30pm in 114 Bruininks Hall (formerly known as STSS).
Group's principal activities, events, or programs:
ESA offers a place for all ESPMers to connect, engage, and create a community with each other across the different tracks that make up this diverse major. We offer advice regarding registration, internships, studying abroad, post-university life, good places to eat near campus, etc. Meetings are always casual and fun; just ask any of our members!
How this group's activities benefit the University community:
We provide a relaxed environment for ESPMers to come together to connect, engage, and succeed across the diverse tracks of the ESPM major. Our meetings discuss the major, ESA events, volunteer opportunities, favorite hiking spots, etc. We also provide a place for environmental and educational advocacy.
How this group fits into its categories:
We are an academically-focused community for students in the Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management major (ESPMers).
How to get involved with this group:
Getting involved is super easy! Just show up at one of our meetings on Thursdays at 6:30pm (in 114 Bruininks Hall), email us, tweet us, or Facebook us. All of the contact information is directly below.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

Student Activities coordinates a grants program for all student groups. One grant initiative is specifically set aside to encourage groups planning efforts, events and information regarding sustainability.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Frontiers in the Environment

Solutions and focused conversations about the next wave of research and discovery in sustainability.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Each year, Student Unions & Activities (SUA) hosts the Art of Recycling competition and event. SUA Staff, retail student employees, student programmers from the Visual Arts Committee collaborate with Coca Cola to host a competition in which participants from throughout the University design art using recycled materials. The proceeding event features the artwork as well as the sustainability efforts of other University departments, who table at the event.
http://sua.umn.edu/events/calendar/event/13834/


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Center for Outdoor Adventure facilitates wilderness experiences.

Challenge yourself to develop outdoor leadership skills, learn about winter survival and first aid, and explore the great State of Minnesota. This leadership development and programming seminar is packed with so many unique activities to help you learn about important topics such as outdoor survival, leave-no-trace, outdoor cooking, first aid, backpacking basics and much more.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Through gamification platforms and custom created programs for student in on campus housing, different themed competitions between houses bring about awareness to consumption and reduction of water and energy. Past programs include Campus conservation nationals, Big 10 Unplugged, and Live Green Games.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

he University of Minnesota’s Sustainability Studies Minor immerses students in the study of real-world problems from a variety of academic perspectives, incorporating disciplines from across the natural, social, and applied sciences. Administered by the Institute on the Environment, the program is unique in its efforts to engage students from every college at the U of M, offering collaborative opportunities that transcend disciplines. Through these diverse perspectives, students will better understand the values, choices, technologies, and policies that create a sustainable world.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

Student Unions & Actvities' student employees research and order locally grown products and lead composting and fryer oil recycling efforts. At the Gopher Spot convenience store, students use the store as a forum for informing customers of sustainability practices related to food. Most recently, a student created a product display showcasing the important role bees play in sustaining our modern food system.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

University’s Bell Museum of Natural History and Institute on the Environment are inviting visitors to explore sustainability issues through the medium of film. From China to Brazil and Europe to Appalachia, this year's four-part Sustainability Film Series takes a global look at the impacts of large-scale human activities on four landscapes and the people that inhabit them.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:

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