Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Erika Ninos
Sustainability Program Coordinator
PittServes
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

1) Student Office of Sustainability (SOOS)
The Student Office of Sustainability is A) a physical and collaboration space for individual students and student organizations who are interested in sustainability related events, initiatives, and programs both on campus and in the community and B) a campus-wide coordinating entity that supports the potential of students to creatively revolutionize the way the Pitt community approaches environmental and social justice, and inspire conversations about building a sustainable future. SOOS has 25+ affiliated student groups who all meet monthly during the academic year to coordinate strategy & activities. Learn more about SOOS: https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/pittserves/sustain/soos

2) Pitt Green Fund [Allocations Board] (GFAB)
The University of Pittsburgh’s student-run Green Fund Allocations Board (aka Pitt Green Fund) finances and supports student-initiated projects and programs that make Pitt’s operations more environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and energy efficient. By supporting these initiatives, The Pitt Green Fund empowers project proposers to make a visibly positive change on campus, thus helping to educate the entire Pitt community about sustainability principles that can be applied in everyday life. Learn more about Pitt Green Fund: https://www.pittgreenfund.com

In addition the following student organizations and initiatives are affiliated through the Student Office of Sustainability (all listed and linked to here: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/get-active):

Aquaponics Project
Meets biweekly to talk about aquaponics, visit sustainable businesses, build greenhouses and small aquaponic systems, and much more!

Community and Students for All Workers (CSAW)
A coalition of undergraduate students and community members who are dedicated to supporting the graduate students and faculty while they organize to form a union.

Competitive Rock Climbing Club
The Pitt Competitive Rock Climbing team is a group of about 30 students who are passionate about rock climbing and compete at local, regional, and national rock climbing competitions. They also volunteer with the SWPAAC and Climb Pittsburgh to ensure greater climbing access, sustainability, and safety.

Doctors Without Borders
The Pitt Student Chapter of Doctors Without Borders supports the mission of the international Doctors Without Borders organization by fundraising on their behalf, extending upon their missions in Pittsburgh by participating in local community service projects and advocating for global health issues.

Engineers for a Sustainable World
ESW Pitt engages engineering (and non-engineering!) students in improving social, environmental, and economic sustainability in their community.

Engineers Without Borders
Pitt’s active Engineers Without Borders chapter collaborates with the international nonprofit that supports engineering-centric activities with a focus on international development work. Pitt’s chapter has completed projects in Mali, Brazil, and all over the world.

Epsilon Eta
A non-partisan Environmental Honors Fraternity dedicated to fostering the awareness between the intrinsic relationship between people and their environment.

FeelGood
Students run a successful weekly grilled cheese deli to raise money and build support for the end of hunger and poverty.

Food Recovery Heroes
The University of Pittsburgh's chapter of the Food Recovery Network, devoted to reducing the amount of food waste on our campus.

Fossil Free Pitt Coalition
A coalition made up of 50 SORC-certified organizations calling on the university to divest its endowment away from fossil fuels. At any given time, there are 15 to 20 core organizers planning strategic actions, petitioning the university, and formulating student power.

Free The Planet
An environmental political activism club that works with Pitt and local organizations to educate the community about environmental issues and advocate for them ourselves.

Hydroponics
Is dedicated to the education of Pitt students in hydroponic practices, providing educational outreach to local communities, and creation of small-scale hydroponic systems.

INDU
A nonprofit initiative centered around combating domestic abuse within the South Asian population. They do so by helping bridge the service gap that many immigrant survivors face, including lack of lawyers, translators, and cultural sensitive therapy.

Pitt Bike Cave
Works to support and improve the bike community on Pitt’s campus via access to tools and mechanics, education, advocacy, and outreach.

Pitt Pantry
Works to connect all members of the Pitt community to the food and resources they need to be successful personally and academically.

Pitt Planned Parenthood
An intersectional feminist organization working for student causes on campus as well as supporting Planned Parenthood clinics locally and nationally. All bodies, all genders are welcomed!

Plant to Plate
A student-run urban garden on Pitt's campus.

Sharing Excess
The mission of Sharing Excess is to engage and empower students to fight food insecurity on campus. Their ultimate vision is to create a regional network of Sharing Excess Chapters to fight food insecurity in the Pittsburgh community.

Students for Sustainability
An undergraduate-based organization focused on educating themselves and the surrounding community on environmental sciences, city infrastructure, and sustainable technologies. Their mission is to improve campus and the city as a whole through both volunteering and community outreach events.

University of Thriftsburgh
A student-run thrift store located in the O'Hara Student Center that offers textile goods for purchase. Their mission is to impart social, economic, and environmental benefit to the Pitt community through ethical provision and education for our customers.

USAS #31
Pitt’s chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops, focused on labor advocacy locally, nationally, and abroad.

Learn more about all of these organizations at: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/get-active


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?:
Yes

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

1) Plant to Plate
This student group runs an urban garden on Pitt's campus. The Oakland Avenue garden is maintained by Plant to Plate members. The organization's threefold mission is to teach students how to grow food in a natural and sustainable manner, teach them how to prepare this food, and encourage them to spread this knowledge to the community. All farming activities are facilitated by the on-campus garden.
Learn more: http://www.pitt.edu/~sorc/plant2plate/

2) Pitt Hydroponics
Is dedicated to the education of Pitt students in hydroponic practices, providing educational outreach to local communities, and creation of small-scale hydroponic systems. Bi-Weekly meetings and other events, such as tours of larger hydroponic systems, serve to educate Pitt students in the practice of using hydroponics techniques for sustainable growth. Outreach to surrounding schools and communities allows Pitt Hydroponics to educate others and provide fresh, sustainable produce to food deserts surrounding Oakland. Through education and outreach, the club designs, develops, and constructs hydroponic systems to gain hands on experience working with hydroponic systems that are used to conduct research in sustainability, student education, and community outreach. Pitt Hydroponics also collaborates off-campus with the Oasis Project.
Learn more: https://pitt2.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/PittHydro

3) Pitt Aquaponics
The Aquaponics Project meets biweekly to talk about aquaponics, visit sustainable businesses, build greenhouses and small aquaponic systems, and much more!
Learn more: https://pitt2.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/aquaponics


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

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

1) The University of Thriftsburgh
A student-created and coordinated thrift store. Created and opened in March 2015, the University of Thiftsburgh’s retail shop was created by two undergraduate students and opened in the O'Hara Student Center (where it remains today). Thriftsburgh employs 3 part-time student coordinators and is governed by a student and staff advisory board. Thiftsburgh’s mission is to promote sustainable purchasing for students on campus and to call attention to the policies of the textile industry and fashion industry. Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, Thriftsburgh began selling clothing on Instagram – and is working to start full online sales in 2021 in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh’s stores.
Learn more: http://www.universityofthriftsburgh.com/

2) Pitt Bike Cave
A student-created and coordinated bicycle maintenance teaching shop on campus that supports and improves the bike community at Pitt and in in Pittsburgh via access to tools and mechanics, education, advocacy, and outreach. The Pitt Bike Cave aims to provide Pitt students, faculty, and staff an inclusive space to repair their bicycles, receive safety and educational materials, participate in workshops, and gather as a community. The Pitt Bike Cave employs 2 part-time student coordinators and is open to anyone with an interest in biking. In 2020, the Pitt Bike Cave began selling donated bikes.
Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/pittbikecave/


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?:
Yes

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

Pitt Green Fund
The mission of the Pitt Green Fund is to finance and support student-initiated projects and programs that make Pitt’s operations more environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and energy efficient. By supporting these initiatives, the Pitt Green Fund empowers project proposers to make a visibly positive change on campus, and thus helps to educate the entire Pitt community about sustainability principles that can be applied in everyday life. The Pitt Green Fund is managed by the Green Fund Allocations Board (GFAB), and receives its budget from the Student Activities Fee via the Student Government Board, as well as, donations from other programs across campus.
Learn more: https://www.pittgreenfund.com/


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?:
Yes

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

1) The Student Sustainability Symposium
Held every semester, this event highlights undergraduate students' sustainability efforts and accomplishments, while creating an inclusive space for an open dialogue about sustainability. The Student Sustainability Symposium brings together students, faculty, administrators, and community groups to increase awareness about and advance efforts behind sustainability initiatives on Pitt;s campus and in the City of Pittsburgh. The Student Sustainability Symposium is organized by students.
Sample event detail: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/events/13th-pitt-sustainability-symposium/

2) Pitt Green Speakeasies
Generally held monthly in the academic year, the Pitt Green Speakeasy was created in 2014 to facilitated faculty and graduate students from throughout Pitt to meet and learn about each other’s research in sustainability with the goal of encouraging future collaboration and interdisciplinary work. In Fall 2020, the Pitt Green Speakeasy pivoted due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, moving to a fully virtual format and featuring speakers from all over the world. Pitt Green Speakeasies are led by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, supported by the Office of Sustainability, and often co-sponsored by the Pitt Center for Sustainable Business and other schools and departments.
Learn more about upcoming and past Pitt Green Speakeasies: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/Community/Green-Speakeasy/

3) Heinz Distinguished Lectureship in Sustainability
This biannual lectureship is open to the community and aims to bring to the University innovative, thought-provoking, and forward-looking concepts and speakers appropriate for sustainable development. The program is sponsored by Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and Is supported by a gift from The Heinz Endowments.
Past speakers are listed here: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/Heinz-Lecture/

4) Pitt Hunger Banquet
This annual event focuses on issues of social inequality related to food and housing insecurity. The event showcases local organizations working in the sphere of basic needs and offers participants the chance to experience a very different style of life from what they may currently be living (though role play). The event is co-hosted by the Pitt Pantry (Pitt's on campus food pantry), Sharing Excess, and a number of other student organizations with the support of Pitt Dining.
Sample 2019 Event Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-pitt-pantry-hunger-banquet-tickets-57634086103#

5) Center for Sustainable Business Lecture Series
This lecture series aims to connect students with experts across industry, academia, and government who specialize in sustainable business best practices. The primary audience for these events are students in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration, but the series is open to all students, faculty, and staff interested in sustainable business.
Learn more: https://www.sustainablebusiness.pitt.edu/csb-lecture-series


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?:
Yes

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

1) Pitt PARK(ing) Day
Pitt has hosted Pitt Park(ing) Day for several years, but in 2019, it was the first official activity for the Year of Creativity. At this event, participants turned parking spaces into temporary parklets, creative interventions, and social spaces. Several sustainability-focused groups and organizations participated, including Pitt’s Surplus department (promoting furniture reuse) and Pitt student groups Engineers for a Sustainable World and Plant to Plate.
Learn more about the event: https://www.creative.pitt.edu/event/parking-day-2019.
Read about the event’s success: https://www.at.pitt.edu/news/parking-day-creativity

2) The Campus Energy Constellation
Conducted as part of the Pitt Honors College Creative Arts Fellowship during the Summer of 2020, The Campus Energy Constellation is a dynamic light installation that portrays the University’s energy usage as an array of stars. The focus and goal of this project is to physicalize the environmental impact of the University community, in an effort to promote transparency in the University’s community on the matters of environmentalism ad operations. Installed in Pitt’s Hillman Library for the 2020-21 academic year, The Campus Energy Constellation piece is comprised of 84 lights (each representing a building owned and operated by the University of Pittsburgh) hung from the ceiling of a darkened enclosure to mimic a clear night sky. Each star is programmed to change in brightness corresponding to the energy usage of its respective building. This project was guides by Pitt’s Office of Sustainability and grew from a Summer Undergraduate Sustainability Research project funded by Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Development (and supported by Pitt’s Facilities Management).
Learn more: https://pitthonors.blog/2020/05/19/introduction-the-campus-energy-constellation/

3) Film Screening: The Colorado
In April 2019, Pitt Arts led an on-campus screening of the film “The Colorado” at the University of Pittsburgh. “The Colorado” has been hailed as one of the most profound documentaries in recent memory; the beautiful film explores the complex relationship between the Colorado River and the people who make use of it. The film was be introduced by one of the composers on the score of the film, William Brittelle; the Director and Cinematographer of the film, Murat Eyuboglu; and co-author of the screenplay, Bill deBuys. After the film, there was a Q&A session with the artists and the audience. Other campus co-sponsors of the film screening were: the Department of Music, the Film Studies Program, the Global Studies Center, and the Office of Sustainability.
Read event blurb: https://calendar.pitt.edu/event/film_screening_the_colorado#.YA7vZDB7nDc


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

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

The University of Pittsburgh Outdoors Club began in the late 1960s as an informal group of students with an affinity for adventure. Today, it is a fully recognized student organization complete with elected officers. The club has weekly meetings, and sponsors frequent outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, biking, rock climbing, etc.
Learn more: http://pittoutdoors.blogspot.com/


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

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

1) Pitt Sustainability-Focused Academic Community: Nature / Cities / Humans

The University of Pittsburgh’s Academic Communities are designed for first year undergraduate students, who take up to three classes together with the same small group of students.
Pitt first offered the “Nature / Cities / Humans” Academic Community in Fall 2019 – and it was offered in Fall 2020 as well. Students all register to take the following 3 classes:

A) Intro to Environmental Science (3 credits, + shared 0 credit recitation)
B) Introduction to Urban Studies (3 credits)
C) Academic Foundations (1 credit) – Taught by Dr. Danielle Andrews-Brown (Director, Environmental Studies Program and Faculty Fellow, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation).

Learn more: https://www.asundergrad.pitt.edu/first-year-students/academic-communities/list-academic-communities#Nature/Cities/Humans

2) Pitt’s “Year of”

The first “Year of” designation at the University of Pittsburgh was for the 2014-2015 "Year of Sustainability," supported through the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of the Provost. In subsequent years, the Pitt Sustainability community has created and received funding for proposals for that are sustainability-focused or related as a part of the "Year Of" series, including the most recent Year of Engagement, Year of Creativity, Year of Pitt Global, Year of Healthy U.

2017–2018: “Year of Healthy U” The Provost’s office supported events, programs, and initiatives focused on the physical, emotional, mental and financial health and wellbeing of the entire Pitt community, including the inaugural Collegiate Basic Needs Dialogue (led by Pitt Sustainability staff).

2018-19: " Year of Pitt Global." The Year of Pitt Global sought to help mobilize and highlight the efforts of our schools, centers, institutes, and programs to integrate local and international perspectives that advance new knowledge and ground-breaking innovation while fostering cultural awareness, worldwide partnerships and life-changing research. xxx

2019–20: “Year of Creativity.” The "Creativity" theme was chosen to unite all of the University of Pittsburgh’s intellectual and artistic endeavors, from neuroscience to sculpture, from legal scholarship to computer science, from music to pharmacogenomics. The Student Office of Sustainability received Year of Creativity funding for a novel project that encouraged to adopt and decorate waste stations across campus to highlight Pitt's recycling, composting, and landfill policies. The "Adopt a Bin" initiative was a part of the University's participation in the RecycleMania (Campus Race to Zero Waste) Competition. Pitt Sustainability contributors also participated in Park(ing) Day, a signature Year of Creativity event (see above).

2020-21: " Year of Pitt Engagement." Engagement with each other—whether civic, community, or campus—allows us to create new possibilities for humanity, for fellowship, and for innovation and discovery. Engagement is fundamental to community building, to deepening the connections between us, and to critical self-discovery. A Year of Engagement is ideal for a university setting because here we learn and teach about communities, while coming together to create new ones. The Pitt Sustainability team is always engaged on- and off-campus, but so far in this year, the team has emphasized engagement in a number of ways, including designing a Pitt Green Home Office Challenge (including new virtual programming), virtually reaching across campus on development of Pitt Climate Action Plan with 7 presentations and 440 individuals (including Staff Council, a University Senate Committee, the Student Office of Sustainability, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation’s Faculty Task Force, & more), plus a small student survey (~140 responses). Officially, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation has also already received a Year of Engagement grant for the “Greenhouse for Year-Round Growing” project to assist its ongoing collaboration with the Oasis Group on hydroponics and more.

Learn more about Pitt’s “Year of” efforts: https://www.provost.pitt.edu/priorities/year-pitt


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

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

1) Pitt Green Resident & Green Floor programs

The Pitt Green Resident program is for students living in Pitt’s residence halls to learn about how they can decrease their environmental footprint and engage in sustainable practices at Pitt and in the larger community. Students complete a Pitt Green Resident survey and earn between one to three points for each item they complete. If the student earns at least 50% of the possible points, they will become a Pitt Green Resident. If 50% of a residence hall floor achieves Pitt Green Resident status, they will become a Pitt Green Floor. Annually, the highest scoring Pitt Green Floor wins a zero waste finals party complete with dinner from a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant.

We were very excited to celebrate 335 Pitt Green Residents and 1 Pitt Green Floor in 2020! Learn more: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/2020-green-resident-floor/

The first Pitt Green Resident program was offered in Fall 2019, yielding 442 Pitt Green Residents and 2 Pitt Green Floors. Learn more about 2019: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/fall-2019-pitt-green-residents/

Learn more: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/pitt-green-resident-floor/

The Pitt Green Resident program is part of the overall Pitt Green suite of designations, which includes Pitt Green Events, Laboratories, and Offices.
Learn more: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/what-you-can-do/pitt-green/

2) Pitt Green Greetings

The Pitt Green Greetings program was created, designed, and delivered through a partnership between the Student Office of Sustainability and the Pitt EcoReps. Designed to reach and engage on- and off-campus students in sustainability during the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Green Greetings sessions were all delivered virtually and focused on recycling, composting, the Healthy Ride bike share program, and skills for sustainable commuting and civic engagement.

Fall 2020 Pitt Green Greeting on Recycling & Reusables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85MCe7I8psE
Fall 2020 Pitt Green Greeting on Healthy Ride Bike Share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjOg5T8vGBE

Pitt Green Guide: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/learn-more/pitt-green-guide/
Learn more: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/learn-more/resources/


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

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

1) Pitt Sustainability Internships (Fall, Spring, & Summer options)

The University of Pittsburgh offers hands-on and practical sustainability employment with Pitt Sustainability internships across the University. In any given year, there are 20+ paid Pitt Sustainability interns in a variety of campus departments, including, but not limited to the:

- Office of Sustainability (2),
- Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (2),
- Student Affairs [including the Student Office of Sustainability (3), Thriftsburgh (2), Pitt Pantry (2), & Pitt Bike Cave (2)]
- Housing (3+ EcoReps)
- Dining (2+)
- Athletics (1)
- Facilities Management (2).

Student interns work on a wide variety of sustainability projects, including communications; materials recycling and composting education and programming; responsible dining programs (BYO Bag, Real Food Challenge, etc.); sustainability documentation; and much more. Regardless, all Pitt Sustainability interns learn valuable communications, collaboration, marketing, engagement, and outreach skills through their positions. They are encouraged to work cooperatively with other departments and divisions across campus on a variety of sustainability-focused and -related projects. Pitt Sustainability interns also work on new sustainability programs to implement on campus for employees (e.g., helping develop and deploy the Pitt Green Office and Green Lab programs).

In addition, the Co-Director of the Student Office of Sustainability serves as a liaison to Pitt’s Student Government Board (SGB) helping advise on sustainability-related programs and initiatives and helping create an agenda for new programming in this area.

Learn more about the current Pitt Sustainability intern team: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/sustainability-interns-and-student-workers-across-campus/

2018-19 Pitt Sustainability Intern team summary: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/pitt-sustainability-interns-fall18/

2) Summer Undergraduate Sustainability Research

Though not a typical internship, Pitt’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation offers a 12-week paid undergraduate summer research program that pairs students with sustainability-focused faculty members to conduct research on sustainability topics and considerations. 18 students were funded for Summer 2020 and 30 opportunities were posted for Summer 2021

Learn more about MCSI’s program & watch videos of select past projects: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/Summer-Research-Opportunities/


Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

N/A


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

In both Fall 2019 and 2020, the University of Pittsburgh has hosted cohorts of Millennium Fellows. These two groups of students were selected for the Millennium Fellowship, a program that convenes, challenges, and celebrates student leadership for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This robust global network is coordinated by United Nations Academic Impact and MCN. Over 15,000 young leaders from over 1,400 campuses in 135 nations applied for the Class of 2019. Only 80 campuses worldwide were selected to host the 1,458 Millennium Fellows.

Pitt’s Fall 2020 Millennium Fellowship Cohort: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/2020-millennium-fellowship-cohort/

Pitt’s Fall 2019 Pitt Millennium Fellowship Cohort: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/pitts-first-millennium-fellowship-cohort/

Millennium Fellowship: https://www.millenniumfellows.org/

https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/2020-millennium-fellowship-cohort/


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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