Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.76
Liaison Jamie Greiner
Submission Date March 22, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mount Union
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jamie Greiner
Sustainability and Campus Outreach Manager
Nature Center
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

The Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center has a state-of-the-art weather station that tracks daily weather, but is also logging data for long-term climate studies. This information can be utilized by future students to study the impacts of climate change at a local level. Currently, this data will be used for an Engineering project.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

The Green Raiders offer Sustainability Tours, which include a stop at the LEED Certified Silver Gartner Welcome Center. There they can explain the features of this building, which includes a geothermal heat pump, automatic lighting controls, low flow fixtures, and high efficiency mechanical and electrical systems to name a few.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

We have two solar photovoltaic arrays. The data from these arrays is collected continuously (Sunny Portal) and students can use the data to study the potential for further renewable energy solutions. The Green Raiders also take the Sustainability Tour to the roof top to allow for an up close view of the thin film array on the Peterson Fieldhouse, while explaining how much energy it produces.

Green Revolving Fund projects are also explained - LED lights, fume hood upgrades, motion sensors, and programmable thermostats.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

Students periodically conduct food waste audits and have studied the effects of tray-less dining. The large volume of waste and the significant reduction in waste on tray-less days is used in outreach materials to raise student awareness about food waste and explain what they can do to limit the amount of food they waste. A recent quote was obtained to convert the current tray-line to a tray-less design.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

Environmental Chemistry and Engineering students are assigned projects related to the soil and water quality on campus. These are multi-week in depth projects that look at levels of nutrient in campus waterways.

As part of the Sustainability Tour the Butterfly Garden is highlighted as a pollinator habitat. A second Wildflower pollinator habitat in underway, through the efforts of the Green Raiders and Nature Center. Additionally, Mount Union's efforts to make the campus grounds more pedestrian and bike friendly are explained by describing roadway eliminations, installation of bike racks, and the acquisition of a Bike Fix-it Station. Lastly, our status as a Tree Campus USA is described while different trees around campus are marked with permanent labels and added to the Campus Arboretum by the Green Raiders.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

The Sustainability Tour describes the Universities Green Sustainability Purchasing Policy and IT's commitment to buying Energy Star and EPEAT hardware and products.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

The Sustainability Tour highlights the roadway eliminations that have occurred to make the campus more pedestrian and bike friendly. The bike racks and bike fix-it station are highlighted and the campus is part of a County Walking/Biking Trail (Iron Horse Trail). The Iron Horse Trail and connected Mahoning Valley Trail have been adopted by campus groups to provide quarterly trash clean-ups. In October 2016 a Campus Wellness Trail was implemented with most of the input on location from the Green Raiders.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

We have participated annually in RecycleMania, now Campus Race to Zero Waste, and students are involved in measuring waste and waste diversion and developing strategies for waste minimization education on campus. Results and Information are shared with the entire campus community via our Daily News (UMUToday).

We also participate annually in Game Day Challenge to raise awareness in the tailgate lots and stadium about recycling.

Green Raiders do an annual Pop-up Clothing Shop to encourage student to buy second-hand rather than new. Money received is donated to an environmental non-profit.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Environmental Chemistry and Engineering students are assigned projects related to the soil and water quality on campus. These are multi-week in depth projects that look at levels of nutrient in campus waterways (Campus Lakes). Brumbaugh Scholars projects have also looked at the health of the ponds located at the Nature Center.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

The Sustainability Management Advisory Committee (SMAC) is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of faculty and staff, as well as students, that meets monthly. A task of this group includes review/revision of the Campus Sustainability and Climate Action Plan which serves as the ultimate coordination and planning tool. Additionally, members of this group are also members of the City Green Commission, which allows for coordination between the University, City of Alliance, and businesses in Alliance (through Chamber of Commerce).


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

Each year the campus hosts the Not Another Statistic Diversity Conference. Sponsored by the University’s Dean of Students Office, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Senate and hosted by the Mount Union Diversity Council and Student Senate, this conference is an opportunity for college students from across the state to come together and explore diversity on college campuses from a wide variety of perspectives. Beginning in fall 2020 a Task force was established. The anti-racism task force is charged with: Recruitment of task force participants to include representation from across the entire campus community, including faculty, staff, and students, Inventory our current efforts dedicated to anti-racism, recommending new initiatives, setting goals for improvement, and evaluating our impact, Recognize the work underway through entities currently on campus, such as the Diversity Initiatives Steering Committee and the Student Senate, Initiate activities that raise awareness of anti-racism issues on campus, such as Real Raider Talk or the Race Card Activity.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

In 2016 the University set-up a Green Revolving Fund to use for energy efficiency projects on campus. A form was developed by the Sustainability Management Advisory Committee (SMAC) to solicit suggestions from the entire campus community, students, staff, and faculty and we continue take suggestions and and savings from completed projects continue to build the fund. The following projects have been completed: LED Lighting retrofits, Fume Hood Upgrades, Programmable Thermostat installations, and Motion Sensor installations.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

The University has a Center for Civic Engagement. The Regula Center is home to a variety of community-based opportunities that all students to learn about and experience engaged, informed citizenship with the public.

The University also operates the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center that is open to both the campus and the public for educational programs, events, and hiking.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

In 2016 the Sustainability Management Advisory Committee (SMAC) created a Wellness Trail on campus in conjunction with the Healthy Campus Initiative to encourage people to get out of their offices and experience the campus outdoors. Additionally, through this initiative walking meetings have been encouraged. We do annual Wellness Trail Walks during Campus Sustainability Month, as the trail was designed to incorporate those items on our Sustainability Tour.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

The Giese Center has an art gallery, which displays various traveling works of art throughout the year. In 2019 for Earth Month we had a series of photographs displayed in our Campus Center depicting Climate Change throughout the world.

Annual ARTFEST at the Campus Lakes:

Sponsored by Mount Union and the Alliance Chamber of Commerce, ArtFest features original works by area artists in various media including watercolor, oil, collage, graphics, drawings, fine and functional crafts, photography, jewelry, pen and ink, sculpture, glass mosaics, printmaking and mixed media works. In addition, the category of functional craft has been added. Functional craft includes such works as jewelry, fiber,woodworking, glass, enameling, lights, mirrors, purses/bags, candles and soaps.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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