Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.07
Liaison Erin Akins
Submission Date March 5, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Saskatchewan
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Matt Wolsfeld
Community Engagement Co-ordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Environmental Studies Student Association (ESSA): The Environmental Studies Students' Association (ESSA) is one of the largest multi-disciplinary undergraduate student associations at the University of Saskatchewan... ESSA's goal is to promote concern for the environment, through various academic and recreational activities.

School of Environment and Sustainability Students’ Association (SENSSA): Students' Association (SENSSA) is made up of students from the University of Saskatchewan's School of Environment and Sustainability. Some of SENSSA's objectives include: promoting unity and welfare of SENSAA students and sustainability in all of its endeavours.

Green Legal: Green Legal is a student club that aims to increase environmental awareness and involvement within the College of Law, build environmental law and policy analysis skills among members, and support community-based non-governmental organizations through law and policy research.

Environmental and Bioresources Students Association (EBSA): EBSA is a student group for majors of Renewable Resource Management and Environmental Science, and other students in environment related fields. Its mission is to create social, educational and experiential opportunities for Environmental Science, Soil Science, and Renewable Resource Management students.

Other Groups with Sustainability Interests:

Amnesty International U of S: The U of S Chapter of Amnesty International is the place to go for U of S students who share an interest and a passion for defending and promoting human rights at home and around the world. It is a gateway to groups, activists, events, and other resources right here in the province available to all.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB): The University of Saskatchewan is home to one of the 36 Engineers Without Borders chapters across Canada. It focuses on development issues across the globe and work to make a difference both overseas and here in Canada.

U of S Innovative Energy Team (USIET): USIET is an engineering students group open to students of any major. It seeks to develop students passions for energy innovation through project development, professional networking, and informational events.

ENACTUS: Enactus University of Saskatchewan is a student-run, nonprofit organization based in the Edwards School of Business that creates positive impact in the community, while developing members' skills through real-world experiences.

Western Canadian Veterinary Students' Association (WCVSA): The Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s student body is organized through the Western Canadian Veterinary Students’ Association (WCVSA). Objectives include promoting the interests and welfare of veterinary students with regard to educational, social and athletic life.

Just Youth (St. Thomas More College):Just Youth aims to engage students in issues of global disparity in incomes and access to essential services.

Health Everywhere: Health Everywhere (HE) is a multidisciplinary group of university students and professionals dedicated to raising awareness of global health issues and improving local and global access to health care. Through clinical, research, and educational programs, they seek to create opportunities for students and health professionals to learn about the social, political, and economic issues affecting the health of populations so that we may better serve the global community. Each year, Health Everywhere helps bring awareness to global health issues through events such as the World AIDS week campaign, Global Health speaker series, and annual fundraiser with CHEP Good Food Inc. In addition, they organize educational events for their members, based on the interests in the group. In the past, these have included movie nights, guest speakers, and Fair Trade merchandise sales.

Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health (SWITCH): SWITCH is a student-run clinic that has been operating since October 2005. The continued success of the clinic is a testament to the hard work that went into designing Saskatoon’s SWITCH clinic as a sustainable organization. Of all of the student-run clinics in Canada, SWITCH offers the largest variety of services, operates the highest volume of shifts, and has been open for the most number of years.

U of S Biology Club: The U of S Biology Club is a group based out of the College of Arts & Sciences's Department of Biology committed to uniting students based around a shared interest in biology. Members do not need to be a biology student to participate; they only need a keen interest in the living world.

U of S Horticulture Club: The U of S Horticulture Club is a group of students passionate about gardening and horticulture. With several outlets to get their hands dirty by growing plants and selling garden goods to Marquis Culinary Centre on campus (lending to the university's first closed-loop food system), the Horticulture Club is the best place to exercise green thumb.

World University Services of Canada (WUSC) - U of S Chapter: WUSC is a network of individuals and post-secondary institutions whose mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. They are founded on the principle that knowledge can build a more equitable world. WUSC is working to create a world where all young people can grow up in safe, secure and supportive environments, where they can learn, work and play a vital role in their country’s development. WUSC works—with partners—to strengthen education systems, expand employment opportunities, and improve lives.


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 University of Saskatchewan now has several student and staff community gardens: the McEown Community Garden, the Facilities Management Division Community Garden, the SENSSA Community Garden, and the U of S Horticulture Club garden.

MCEOWN COMMUNITY GARDEN: The McEown Community Garden is our largest and longest-standing community garden on campus. It serves over 100 gardeners living in the residences at McEown Park, College Quarter, and Grad House. The garden operates as an allotment garden: parcels are allocated to individuals who cultivate them individually. The Office of Sustainability's Community Garden Coordinator supports operational logistics, acts as a liaison for gardeners, and helps to plan events or workshops throughout the season. CHEP (Child Health Education Program) provide seeds and gardening advice and instruction to students. The University Residence department provides all of the gardening tools at no cost. The University provides the water at no cost. There is a community compost pile. Pest control is also up to the individual gardeners and because of close proximity to other plots, this is usually very organic in nature.

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT DIVISION COMMUNITY GARDEN: The FMD Community Garden is located outside the University Services Building and serves the employees of Facilities Management Division (FMD). The garden is a constant source of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for the staff of FMD. Planting is a shared process in the spring time, with a coordinated planting party to help plant produce that has been started in the Grounds greenhouses. At a harvest party in the fall, employees are invited to help reap the bountiful harvest of the garden to share amongst themselves and to contribute to a communal potluck.

SENSSA COMMUNITY GARDEN: The SENSSA Community Garden is a garden open to students of the School of Environment and Sustainability. The garden was started in 2015 outside of the Biology Building as an initiative of the School of Environment and Sustainability Students' Association (SENSSA); it has since expanded and moved to a new home located outside of St. Andrew's College on the USask campus alongside College Drive.

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND BIORESOURCES ROOFTOP GARDEN: Started in Spring 2016, this rooftop garden is the first closed-loop food production system on campus. The garden is planted by Soil Science and Plant Science students and is fertilized with compost from the Grounds Compost Centre. Food grown at the garden is then sold at market rate to the Marquis Culinary Centre and used in preparing large scale meals at the campus dining hall. In the near future food waste or scraps will be put through a dehydrator to be turned into dry, compostable material and subsequently sent to the Grounds Compost Centre to be fully composted.

HORTICULTURE CLUB PROJECT: The U of S Horticulture Club is open to all students on campus who want to learn more about horticulture. One of its major projects is the vegetable garden project which involves approximately 25 students responsible for starting transplants in the greenhouse, field seeding, transplanting, maintaining (weeding), harvesting and storing of produce. Some produce is designated for sale to cover the cost of inputs, however the students consume the majority of produce and some produce is donated to charity. A faculty adviser and student coordinators assist the students in learning more about vegetable production techniques and strategies. Decisions regarding choice of crops to be grown, pest management methods, plus sale of produce are by group consensus.


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:

The University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union strives to be a leader in enhancing the student experience while keeping in line with our values of environmental responsibility. One of a number of ways the USSU ensures we stay accountable to our environmental commitment is through our Sustainability Committee (link found below)

Our Vision
The University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union strives to be the recognized leader in enhancing the student experience.

Our Mission
The University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union exists to represent, serve and support the academic and non-academic needs of undergraduate students of the University of Saskatchewan through accountable, dynamic and unified leadership. It also serves to protect and maintain the integrity of quality, accessible public education.

Our Values
The following principles shall guide the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union in all of its endeavours: innovation, integrity, mutual respect, professionalism, service, social, economic and environmental responsibility, teamwork, and trust.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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 USSU Sustainability Committee offers student sustainability grants. USSU Executives, student representatives, and members-at-large sit on the committee and allocate funds (jointly provided by the USSU and Office of Sustainability) to students or student groups who submit applications for sustainability initiatives around campus. The Committee is also partly funded through the vendor fees associated with the USSU Farmer's Market.

The Campus Sustainability Revolving Fund (CSRF) is also open to student applications for larger, institutional projects that deliver utility savings. The CSRF funds these projects and pays itself back 150% from the utility savings. While mostly applicable to staff and faculty, students are able to submit applications to the CSRF Committee to help fund their projects. See: http://sustainability.usask.ca/get-involved/campus-sustainability-revolving-fund.php


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:

The Office of Sustainability hosts a "green space" during Welcome Week every year to introduce students to sustainability initiatives. This includes introducing students to the campus recycling program, advertising student funding opportunities such as the USSU Sustainability Committee and the CSRF, recruiting members for the Green Pack volunteer group or the Sustainability Living Lab, and many other things that inject sustainability into the lives of students. See: Link associated with this entry.

Every year the Office of Sustainability hosts a station during "Bike to Work Day" and helps organize the annual Hike, Bike, and Roll event. These two cycling related events occur in late summer and help to encourage cycling and active transportation on campus. They educate the campus community on cycling, and facilitate collaboration with community cycling groups through a used bike sale, wherein used or abandoned bikes on campus are donated to the local Bridge City Bicycle Co-op that repairs them and sell them to students at a discounted rate. See: http://sustainability.usask.ca/initiatives-and-events/cycling.php

Each year, the Office of Sustainability hosts Campus Sustainability Week in October. This week features a sustainability expo to showcase sustainability-related student groups, speakers, film screenings, workshops, and many other events. Student groups are encouraged to take part and host their own events during the week with the help of funding through the Office of Sustainability. See: http://sustainability.usask.ca/initiatives-and-events/campus-sustainability-week.php

A variety of student groups work in partnership with the Office of Sustainability to hold events throughout the year. One particularly successful annual event is ESSA's EcoBash, which features a carbonless concert segment, showcases local environmental speakers and activists, and raises funds for local groups such as the Saskatchewan Environmental Society's Solar Co-op. Other student-led events such as movie screenings, workshops, and guest lectures, receive funding and organizational/administrative support from the Office of Sustainability. See: https://www.facebook.com/events/1663008183958030/

The Planning Students Association partnered with the Office of Sustainability to host MOMENTUM, an annual urban planning conference held at the University of Saskatchewan since March 2016. The conference brings in over 50 students, faculty members, and planning professionals from across Western Canada and hosts learning sessions, networking receptions, film nights, and walking tours of the city. See: https://planningmomentum.usask.ca/

An annual student symposium showcases the projects completed through the Sustainability Living Lab. Faculty members, facility and departmental managers, and local professionals attend to see the results of projects that use the university campus and surrounding community as a living laboratory for learning about sustainability issues and solutions. See: https://sustainability.usask.ca/study-research-and-development/our-common-future.php


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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:

Each year during Campus Sustainability Week in October, a group of senior sculpture students partner with the Office of Sustainability to produce ART*Cycled, an installation or reclaimed and upcycled art. Students are able to select university surplus assets destined for the landfill to incorporate into sculpture or conceptual art projects.

http://sustainability.usask.ca/initiatives-and-events/artcycled


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?:
No

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

N/A


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)?:
No

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

N/A


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 Office of Sustainability partners with the USSU and local community partners to host workshops throughout the school year designed to teach students sustainable life skills such as zero waste practices, energy efficiency at home and in residence, or basic bike repair and maintenance strategies.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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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 believes that students play a critical part in sustainability. As such, it offers a number of student intern positions every year. Student positions range from assisting with operations projects to conserve energy and water to engagement activities such as planning sustainability-related events and campaigns on campus.


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:

N/A


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?:
---

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

N/A


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.