Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 36.72
Liaison Lindsey Abernathy
Submission Date July 17, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mississippi
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lindsey Abernathy
Associate Director
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

1. ASB Sustainability Committee: The goal of the Associated Student Body Student Sustainability Committee (ASB SSC) is to cultivate a more environmentally sustainable campus by conserving resources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainability education. All students are welcome to join the sustainability committee and attend its meetings. https://www.facebook.com/umasbssc/
2.) The mission of Engineers Without Borders is to build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. From 2007-2017, the UM Engineers Without Borders chapter constructed a schoolhouse and drilled a deep water well in the village of Togo, South Africa. The chapter has also adopted the Ecuadorian community of 25 de Diciembre, where they plan to implement a clean and safe water source as well as add a more efficient water distribution system. This project is currently in the assessment phase, during which students traveled to Ecuador to assess the situation and meet with community leaders in 2018. http://ewb.olemiss.edu/
3.Environmental Law Society: The mission of the Environmental Law Society is to promote discussion and awareness of environmental issues by hosting speakers and student discussion with attorneys practicing environmental law, coordinating community projects, and promoting social activities. https://www.facebook.com/ELSofOleMiss/
4. The UM Beekeepers Club: The UM Beekeepers Club, which is based out of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, seeks to connect University students with the world of bees in a way that stimulates the students intellectually and philosophically. The Bee Club offers students an avenue to connect to the natural world to the student’s lives. Students learn about many different aspects of beekeeping like hive initiation, upkeep, maintenance, and harvest. https://thedmonline.com/honors-college-dean-shares-love-of-beekeeping-with-student-club/
5. Magnolia Grove Audubon Society - This newly formed group is the campus chapter of the Audubon Society, the first of its kind in the Southeast. They engage in environmental advocacy, conservation projects, and birding outings. This group is partnering with the Rust College Audubon Chapter in order to support greater inclusion in the North Mississippi conservation community.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
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Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

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

The UM Garden Club seeks to build community, fight food insecurity, and promote local food through the joys of gardening. All University faculty, students, and staff are welcome to join the Garden Club. Garden Club members are primarily students who work together to maintain the garden, plant produce and herbs, and harvest the produce and herbs they grow. The UM Garden Club also provides the UM Food Bank locally produced and fresh produce and herbs in an effort to provide promote health and fight hunger on campus.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

1. Lenoir Dining: Lenoir Dining is an educational student-run restaurant within the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. Housed in Lenoir Hall, this non-profit 40-seat teaching laboratory offers students hands-on experiences in all facets of restaurant operations. Lenoir Dining became certified by the Green Restaurant Association during the 2018-19 academic year. Prior to pursuing the certification, the restaurant implemented a variety of sustainable practices, including purchasing more local ingredients, composting, recycling, installing low-flow water faucets, and more. Each student that goes through the Lenoir dining program is taught about the green restaurant initiative and its requirements throughout operations. Plans are that students will coordinate the certification renewal process in the future. http://nhm.olemiss.edu/welcome-to-lenoir-dining/lenoir-dining/.

2. The UM Food Bank is run for students by students. The mission of the UM Food Bank is to foster a healthy college community by providing nourishing food to students in an effort to alleviate hunger and fight food insecurity on the UM Campus. The UM Food Bank is student-run and provides meaningful volunteer and leadership experience for the students involved. http://dos.orgsync.com/org/umfoodbank/home


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have 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

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

The University of Mississippi Green Fund supports innovative sustainability projects on campus. Since its establishment in 2013, the Green Fund has awarded more than $58,000 of funding to 22 projects. Past projects include the establishment of the UM Compost Program, the installation of hydration stations and energy conservation projects in RC South and the J.D. Williams Library. All faculty, staff, and students are eligible to propose a project. The UM Green Fund Committee accepts proposals once per year in November. Following evaluation of the project proposals, the committee and, in some cases, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, will make final selections. The Green Fund Committee is comprised of student representatives, faculty and staff.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

1.) The Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Studies minor program host an Earth Day Keynote Speaker each year during the university's Green Week celebration, which began in 2008. These keynote speakers have included individuals like David George Haskell, a renowned biologist, and Linda Hogan, a Native American environmental poet. Green Week also includes a variety of educational seminars and discussions that focus on sustainability. https://greenweek.olemiss.edu/

2) The Southern School on Chemistry and Engineering Conference (SSCEC) and the Southern School on Computational Chemistry and Materials Science (SSCC&MS) were held on the University of Mississippi (UM) campus in 2018. The theme of this conference was focused on the sustainability of water/energy/food (WEF) nexus; general chemistry and engineering presentations were are also invited. http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/sscec/

(3) In March of 2017, the University of Mississippi hosted the third Race and Sustainability Conference. The Race and Sustainability Conference seeks to encourage collaboration, particularly among the Mississippi legal community, and provide solutions in order to improve conditions faced by marginalized communities. https://pages.uncc.edu/inss/annual-meetings/2016-conference/


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

(1) 2016 UM Theatre Water Dance- In 2016, UM theatre students participated in the National Water Dance, which highlights water issues. The UM Theatre Water Dance focused on the Mississippi River and highlighted the pollution from agricultural runoff that goes into the river, brought attention to the effects of attempts to manage it, and celebrated the landscapes that frame it. The Water Dance was performed on the university campus in the Meek Auditorium on April 3, 2016 and was performed again as part of Green Week 2016 on Mud Island in Memphis, Tennessee along a replica of the Mississippi River that overlooks the actual river. https://libarts.olemiss.edu/um-theater-students-draw-attention-to-water-issues/

(2) In 2017, an exhibit titled “A Littered Landscape” highlighted the impact our actions have on the environment. The exhibit featured an original photograph of a natural space which was covered with campus trash throughout the week. The artist, recent UM graduate Anna Brigance, urged viewers to think about the steps they personally could take to reduce their impact on the environment. The exhibit was displayed in a highly trafficked campus area for the entirety of Green Week.

(3) In 2016, an exhibit titled “Food for Thought” illustrated the varying effects of food waste on the environment as well as personal choices individuals can make to mitigate these effects. The exhibit tank was separated into three sections, each representing a tier of the Food Recovery Hierarchy, which indicates the best ways to prevent food waste. The sections in the exhibit showcased the effects of landfilling food, composting food, and source reduction. The exhibit was displayed in a highly trafficked campus area for the entirety of Green Week.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

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

Ole Miss Outdoors (OMOD) is a multifaceted program offered through the Department of Campus Recreation that introduces students, faculty, staff, and community members to the great outdoors. OMOD has partnered with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics for the past 10 years as an educational partner each year; this includes paying the $100 partnership fee and distributing LNT literature to all trip participants and patrons of their outdoor rental office. Ole Miss Outdoors practices all 7 principles of Leave No Trace while leading their adventure trips and hosting special events. On November 3rd, 2016, OMOD hosted a Leave No Trace Workshop that taught ways to minimize one’s impact on the environment while camping and interact responsibly with wildlife.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

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

The annual Food Day Farmers Market in October and Sustainability Fair in April are events where students learn the concepts of shopping for local and naturally grown produce. During these events, university students, faculty, and staff are able to purchase things from local farms and vendors as well as learn more about their agricultural practices. The event also provides attendees with local food guides to direct them to farmers markets and a local foods grocery store off campus. The Oxford Community Market director also participates to educate attendees about any other questions and concerns they may have about eating local and local markets. The learning outcomes for this event are to educate students, faculty and staff on the importance of eating local and how to do so in Oxford.

The Sustainability Fair goes beyond food and involves information about many different topics, including active transportation, recycling, energy reduction, community volunteer opportunities and more. The Department of Parking and Transportation, the university's energy coordinator, the Eco Reps program, Oxford's recycling coordinator and the North Mississippi Vista Project are just a few local resources featured at the annual Sustainability Fair.

The annual Transportation Fair focuses on promoting the use of active transportation options to get to, from, and around campus. Representatives and mechanics from the UM Bike Shop help connect current and potential bike users with educational and safety resources. Representatives from Zipcar and Zimride help students sign up for the carpooling/ car sharing services that help students see how they can get around without having a car of their own. The Department of Parking and Transportation helps connect students with even more safety and educational resources concerning transportation and transportation methods. An Oxford University Transit (O.U.T) bus is also featured at the fair. Students can learn how to put their bike on an O.U.T bus. The Office of Sustainability focuses on educating people about Share the Road principles through engagement activities and the Share the Road pledge. The 2018 Transportation Fair also featured a Bike-O-Rama where students could try out riding the new bikeshare bikes on a closed course with the help of experienced cyclists.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

The Office of Sustainability’s Green Student Intern Program (GSIP) employs students during the summer, fall, and spring semesters to work on sustainability projects. Sustainability projects will often be related to the following operational areas: transportation, recycling/waste management, behavioral change, and outreach and event planning. The Office of Sustainability provides support, guidance, and access to information and resources to students involved in the GSIP program that will enable the sustainability projects to succeed. To maximize the effect of the GSIP program, interns will be encouraged to record their progress with each project, including the context, lessons learned, where the project needs to go next, and any other relevant information that will ensure that long-term projects maintain their momentum. Members of the Green Student Intern Program (GSIP) team work directly with full-time staff in the Office of Sustainability to support the university’s sustainability goals. Interns specialize in specific sustainability topics but also contribute to programs and projects outside of their primary focus. Interns work on tasks including but not limited to: project implementation, research and data collection, volunteer coordination, meeting facilitation, event planning, and site management of the UM Compost site and UM Garden site. Interns work in a highly collaborative and adaptive environment, with one-on-one feedback and constructive mentorship. Each intern works 8-10 hours per week, and starts at $9/hour.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.