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
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jamie Greiner
Sustainability and Campus Outreach Manager
Nature Center
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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:

We have several sustainability-related student organizations on campus.

1) Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed service fraternity that provides opportunities for campus, community, state, and national service projects.

2) Brothers Building Bonds has the mission to create a positive perspective of men of color at UMU. Men of color can share their insights, opinions, and knowledge for the betterment of their brothers.

3) Choosing Healthy Options in Celebration of Educational Success (CHOICES) has a mission to promote wellness, advocate responsible decision-making, raise student awareness regarding healthy lifestyles, and collaborate with other student organizations.

4) Enactus believes "investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all". Members collaborate with business leaders and faculty to ignite business innovation through experiences of social impact that spark social enterprise.

5) Gender Equity Matters (GEM) is a group of students that educates students and provides programs and outreach for all gender issues and activities, both on-campus and in the Alliance community. GEM focuses on educational opportunities for students and opportunities to make an impact on these topics through evens and community service.

6) Global Engineering Club seeks to provide experience working with a diverse group of people by helping communities in developing countries through service-based projects.

7) Habitat for Humanity seeks to serve the University of Mount Union and the Alliance community through students providing the opportunity to partner with the Habitat for Humanity organization, helping families in the area by building houses.

8) Peacebuilding Society is to educate the community and campus and improve members understanding of social issues through activities and events to raise awareness on issues ranging from local to global, and finding responsible citizenship through peacebuilding.

9) PRIDE is a Diversity organization with the purpose of affirming, facilitating, celebrating, supporting, and creating a safe and accepting environment for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities on Mount Union’s campus.

10) Sister Circle serves the needs of young women of color who are on campus and in the Alliance community. Seeks to provide a space where these women can be affirmed and empowered to be successful.

11) UMU Health and Prosperity Club promotes health and community on campus. Spreads hunger awareness and educates members of the UMU Community on the difficulties of financially disadvantaged families in the Alliance community.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
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 facilities at the University's Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center include an educational garden that provides limited organic produce to friends of the Center and a living classroom for the student volunteers that contribute to its maintenance.

Alliance Community Gardens have also provided students with volunteer opportunities and follows organic practices (Meg Mundy is the Community Organizer).

In 2021, 2 paid internships became available to students at an Urban Hydroponic Growing Operation, Locality Craft Farms. One of the business owners is a past student.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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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)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

NA


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:

In 2016 the University of Mount Union established a Green Revolving Fund to help fund energy efficiency projects on campus. A survey to solicit ideas for the Green Revolving Fund is sent out at least twice a year to all Students, Staff, and Faculty. The ideas received are reviewed and ranked by the Sustainability Committee, which includes students (Green Raiders). When the Green Revolving Fund was established a presentation was given to Student Senate to make them aware of the Fund and to get ideas for possible investments.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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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:

The Not Another Statistic Conference, hosted annually by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, offers several sessions on social-justice-related topics to promote peace building and non-violence. The Green Raiders have given presentations in the past. Additionally, Campus Sustainability Month (October) and Earth Month (April) are filled with sustainability events/programs sponsored by the Green Raiders and the Sustainability Management Advisory Committee.


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:

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.

In 2019 the Sustainability Management Advisory Committee partnered with a Photographer to display about 35 of his works on Climate Change around the world in our Campus Center throughout the month of April. There was also a meet the artist event and formal program.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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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:

Environmental Ethics. This course introduces students to ethical issues associated with the relationship between humans and the natural world. An aspect of this course is a wilderness trip to the Adirondack Mountains, where Leave No Trace principles are practiced.

Social Responsibility and Personal Well-Being. This is an experientially-based course that looks at the effect of service and other forms of helping behavior on ones’ sense of well-being. This involves a week-long Spring break service project in Latin America.

International Engineering Field Experience. This course provides the student with an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and international exposure to engineering projects, specifically projects in the developing world. The course exposes students to the grand challenges of engineering and the need for various stakeholders (engineers, scientists, policy-makers, etc,) to collaborate and to develop, test, and implement innovative, appropriate, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions

UMU also has a Fishing Club that provides an environment to educate and build a lifelong hobby and skill of fishing.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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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)?:
Yes

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

The First Year Seminar (4 semester hours) is a topic-oriented course designed to assist students in making the academic and personal transition to higher education and launch them on their journeys through liberal education in a small, interactive class. It introduces and develops core abilities such as critical reading, thinking, argumentation and the written and oral communication skills needed to convey these ideas to appropriate audiences.

The following FYS courses (2018-2020) had a Sustainability "theme":

FYS Sustainable Communities
FYS Making a Difference
FYS Living a Life of Value
FYS Developing a Global Mindset
FYS Farm to Table
FYS Good Planets are hard to find
FYS Examining Wicked Problems
FYS Get Outside! The benefits of being
FYS Wellness: Mind, Body, and Soul

Explorations (8 semester hours) are a pair of courses at the intermediate to upper-level (typically 200-300) that align with Mount Union’s mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship. Specifically, the courses engage students in self-reflection about how they evaluate and apply knowledge (looking inward) and their place in a diverse world (looking outward). These courses also will help students develop more sophisticated written and oral communication skills, employ advanced critical thinking, encourage complex problem solving, and acquire cultural knowledge that is essential for contributing to society.

Students must complete one course in each category. Explorations prerequisite: Successful completion of all four Foundations courses or the WOC Portfolio. Explorations credit may only be earned for a course if this prerequisite is completed prior to the commencement of the course. Students may “double-count” an Explorations course to meet a major or minor requirement. However, a student cannot count both Explorations courses towards the same major or minor.

Explorations: Diversity and Global Learning (G)
We live in an increasingly diverse world. Exposure to diverse populations and cultures challenges us to address and overcome cultural barriers, better refine our perspective on cultural difference, and have a better sense of our own cultural identity (AAC&U). Courses in the Explorations: Diversity and Global Learning category will enable students to engage multiple perspectives of cultures and identities, reflect on their own cultural self-understanding, and develop empathy across human difference, making them better global citizens.

Explorations: Values and Reasoning (V)
Throughout our lives we develop a set of values, ethical perspectives, and approaches to reasoning. These values, perspectives, and approaches shape how we perceive what is true, what is real, and how we make judgments. Courses in the Explorations: Values and Reasoning category will help students understand how processes of reasoning and value systems are developed and applied to complex situations, as well as the implications of thinking and acting a certain way (e.g., ethics, morality, the integration of technology into our work and life, ecological ethics and sustainability, social responsibility).

Integrative Core
The mission of the University of Mount Union is "to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship." To accomplish this mission, the University draws upon its roots in a historic understanding of the liberal arts. A liberal arts education provides students with a broad base of knowledge in addition to training a specific field of study. At its heart, a liberal arts course of study does not teach a single point of view but equips and empowers students to form their own conclusions based on critical reasoning. The Integrative Core (IC) values this tradition of learning.

The Integrative Core is a distinctive program designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of the 21st century world. It provides a framework for them to experience and shape a coherent and transformative education grounded in the liberal arts. Graduates can no longer expect to interact with the same demographic group and hold one job in the same discipline for their entire career. Integrative and synthetic thinking are more and progressively important for people to succeed personally and professionally in an increasingly interconnected world, in which cultures interact, technology changes rapidly, and the workplace is fluid. The Integrative Core guides students through developing the ability to think across and within different disciplines, contexts, and cultures.

The Integrative Core comprises eight courses totaling 32 credit hours of coursework. These courses include:

One First Year Seminar taken in the first semester
Four Foundations courses (one from each of the four Foundations areas – humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and arts) that should be completed by the end of the sophomore year
WOC Portfolio submission (should be completed by the end of the sophomore year)
Two Explorations courses taken during the junior year
One Capstone course taken during the senior year


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 Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center offers regular skills-based workshops to the full campus community. These have included herb gardening, soap-making, cooking with local fruit, repurposing, woodcarving, composting, designing rain gardens, and other topics that encourage local, self-reliant living.


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:

Each year 10-15 Green Raiders (Sustainability Assistants) are recruited. Recruitment efforts include upperclassmen, but also intentionally targets first-year students during the summer orientation programs so as to hopefully cultivate interest and awareness early on in students' tenure at the University.

Student employment opportunities are also available at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center where students have the opportunity to work directly with sustainability-related outreach programs (such as seminars on how to compost or build your own rain water collection system) and tools (such as a biodiesel converter).


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:

NA


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Brumbaugh Scholars Program

The Mission of the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center is to “provide and support opportunities for enjoying and learning about our natural and cultural heritage.”
In keeping with that mission funds are allocated to support summer research or other co-curricular opportunities (This program is not part of normal academic course work and it to serve as a complement to any major area of study) for students and faculty. The unifying elements of this research are:
1. It is to be place-based. The research or other project should relate to the natural and cultural heritage of northeastern Ohio and be explicitly related to the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center and its mission.
2. It is to be student-centered. The intent is to provide students with opportunities to engage in meaningful educational activities that would complement their classroom education.
3. It is to be tied to the expertise and interests of a Mount Union faculty or staff member who will serve as a project mentor. The work should allow students and project leaders to work together in ways that provide genuine experiential learning for the student while also allowing the project mentor to further their scholarly or professional interests. A Brumbaugh Mentorship is warded to a faculty or staff member The awardee is involved in selecting one or more Brumbaugh Summer Scholar students who work with them specifically on their project. The Brumbaugh scholars chosen by the mentor in consultation with the selection team are part of a group of Brumbaugh Summer Scholars who are selected for the summer.

The Regula Scholars Program allows students to learn from local public servants, participate in leadership training, and study ethics based case studies, in order to complement what they are learning in their courses and provide for a well-rounded education. Scholars receive stipends to fund internships, conferences, programming, and travel while they are enrolled at Mount Union, that is not related specifically to an academic course. These students are selected based on a nomination process and must complete 150 hours of service. Additionally, Regula Scholars must maintain a 3.5 GPA and spend time learning about ethical decision making, employment in the public sector and many other experiential opportunities.


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:
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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.