|Submission Date||Feb. 15, 2016|
University of Richmond
EN-3: Student Life
Director of Sustainability
Office for Sustainability
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||No|
|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:
The University of Richmond has five student groups that are focused on general sustainability: URSA (University of Richmond Sustainability Advocates), GreenUR, Greeks Going Green, the Richmond Environmental Law Society, and the Food Recovery Network.
URSA is a peer education program dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmentally responsible behavior in the campus community through engagement with fellow students, primarily in residence halls. Sustainability Advocates (SA) educate themselves and their peers about sustainability issues. URSA's goal is to facilitate and institutionalize stewardship on campus as a result of this increased understanding.
GreenUR spreads information and awareness about environmental issues through competitions, demonstrations, and events. GreenUR plays a large role in holding events during October's Campus Sustainability Month and Earth Week in April. In fall of 2015 the group brought Kill the Cup, a reusable mug campaign, to campus. Some of the events sponsored by GreenUR include waste audits, conservation competitions, environmental film screenings, and a student sustainability fund.
Greeks Going Green is a panhellenic organization made up of members of each of the fraternities and sororities on campus. The organization promotes environmentally responsible living, spearheads the trayless dining campaign, and supports recycling at fraternity parties (a notoriously difficult task on campus).
The Richmond Environmental Law Society (RELS) is a student organization dedicated to learning about and raising awareness of legal issues in the growing field of environmental law.
The Food Recovery Network is a student group focused on intercepting edible food from campus catering events and getting it to hungry community members. They partner with Dining Services and community agencies to repurpose food that would otherwise be wasted.
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:
The University of Richmond offers membership in an on-campus organic garden where students, faculty, and staff can have their own 15' x 10' plot of land to grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers. The garden is organic, so pesticides are banned and only the use of organic fertilizers is permitted. The garden is open from mid-March until October. Individuals wishing to use the garden must attend required information sessions to learn about organic farming and gardening principles. The Community Garden is led by David Donaldson, a staff member in Events, Conferences, and Support Services. Students are encouraged to participate by working alongside experienced gardeners throughout the growing season.
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:
The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
A student-run sustainability organization, GreenUR, with the help of the local chapter of the Sierra Club, hosts a move out sale (the "big yard sale") for the campus and local communities by offering student donations at a steep discount. GreenUR uses profits from this sale to provide "Green Grants" to other students groups on campus for sustainability initiatives.
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:
Every year the Department of Geography & the Environment, the Environmental Studies Program and International Studies Program hold the Global Environmental Speaker Series. The goal of this series it “to bring noteworthy speakers and scholars to Richmond to present lectures related to our global environment”. All of the speeches are free and open to the public. A few of the 2015-2016 presentations included: Dr. Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the Director of the National Park Service talking about environmental justice and sustainability for the impoverished worldwide, and Dr. Shawn Carter, Acting Chief of the National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center. Dr. Carter spoke on "The challenge of making climate change impact research more relevant to natural resource management"
The Office for Sustainability also hosted "Hallow-Green", an environmentally themed two weeks at the end of October. During this week, speakers presented on environmental justice, post-graduation employment opportunities in the Environmental Studies field, and new climate change policies. Boatwright Memorial Library also hosts a series of talks, such as Joanne Kong's "Food for Thought: How a Greener Diet can Transform You and the Planet", many of which are sustainability based and open and marketed to students as well as the greater campus community.
The Office for Sustainability has "Green Bag Lunches" each month, brining in speakers on topics such as climate justice, home-scale renewable energy, campus connectivity, and real food.
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:
One of our on-campus museums, the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, features environmentally- and sustainability-themed installations. The museum is open to students and partners with various UR classes throughout the year. UR, through its downtown campus, UR Downtown, partners with First Fridays, a monthly cultural and arts gallery night which has sustainability themed events and art installations. UR hosts student artists and provides free transportation from campus. Students also participated in a city-wide mural project. They created murals with a James River restoration theme, incorporating facts about the River and paintings of species in the River.
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:
A first-year community RC (Richmond College) Xtreme, participates in weekend activities such as whitewater rafting, indoor rock climbing, hiking on local trails, snow tubing and skiing at local resorts, orienteering and tracking, and backpacking. An upperclassmen community, Earth Lodge participates in comparable practices that include hiking and camping in state and national parks. The university is also home to individual student led groups such as the University of Richmond Outdoor and Recreation (OAR) club and the Rock Climbing Club. These communities and groups promote the No Trace principles by engaging and learning about the environment that they are enjoying. In addition, these groups make it in their best efforts to plan ahead and travel by trail, concentrate their activity, clean up after themselves, and leave what they find behind. The University Recreation and Wellness center also provides camping and kayaking equipment for rental to students as well as information about outdoor recreation opportunities.
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:
UR facilitates "Sophomore Scholars in Residence" Living-Learning Communities that center around a certain topic, with experience in and out of the classroom. The communities with an outdoors aspect include Eating Locally, Thinking Globally, where students travel to farms, Geography of the James River Watershed, where students study the James River, and Out of the Sea, where students study marine ecosystems and human impact. The Office of the Chaplaincy also selects a book every year for the campus to read. The 2014-2015 book selection was " The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement" by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis, which is about food justice. In addition to encouraging the campus community to read the book with advertising and free copies, UR brought speakers on the topic and facilitated events for students and faculty all around the topic of food justice. The book selection for the 2015-2016 school year is "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson. This book focused on unfair sentencing practices and how they can effect families and communities. The Office for Sustainability host a book club meeting once a month with different sustainability-themed books. The book club offers a unique opportunity for students to discuss different topics with faculty, staff, and community members. Past book selections have included "The Omnivore's Dilemma", "The Upcycle" and "This Changes Everything."
The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
The University of Richmond Sustainability Advocates (URSA) program provides students with information about sustainability and specifically, how they can live more sustainably. Sustainability Advocates (SAs) then work with peers living in their residence halls to disseminate this information and encourage sustainable living habits. Specifically, SAs promote and facilitate the Green Room Program, which provides students with a checklist of specific sustainable habits that include waste reduction, less energy consumption, etc. Students can submit a completed checklist and pending an audit can have their rooms certified. This program both informs students about what they can be doing and holds them accountable for their actions.
The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:
The Office for Sustainability hires 8 student interns as part of the Student Intern Program (SIP). The SIP empowers students to develop their own understanding of sustainability and effect change on campus towards that definition in different concentrations. Students interact with faculty, staff and other students in a variety of capacities and relating to many different aspects of sustainability. Internship position areas include programming, communications, re-writing UR's Climate Action Plan, food sourcing, and URSA. The program also provides educational opportunities to the interns about how sustainability works on personal and global scales alike.
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:
The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
Cultural Advisors (CAs) are student leaders on campus who live in the residence halls and work with residents and residence life staff to make the halls safe, welcoming, and supportive communities for all students. Cultural Advisors promote learning and understanding across differences, share information about campus resources on diversity and inclusion, and facilitate connections between and among residents. They also coordinate the weekly SpiderNights program (formerly CA Alternatives) which occurs every Saturday night.
The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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.
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.