Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.12
Liaison Amir Nadav
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of St. Thomas
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Amy McDonough
Chief of Staff
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

Through its seat on the Union Park District Council (UPDC) board and UPDC's Transportation Committee, St. Thomas has advocated in the past year for a 4-to-2 lane conversion on Ayd Mill Road, an efficiency upgrade to the Route 63 Metro Transit bus line that goes past our St. Paul campus, for safe pedestrian crossings near campus, and for slower speed limits on city streets, among other projects.

St. Thomas is also collaborating with the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee and the City of Saint Paul on consistent and more frequent zebra striping of heavily traveled pedestrian crosswalks near campus.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

The University in recent years has supported the successful efforts of faculty members to obtain Minnesota legislative appropriations to conduct research on a range of environmental topics. For example, St. Thomas professor, Dr. Kristine Wammer, serves as a co-project manager on the following project, which received funding from the sate's Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund: "Mapping Antibiotic Resistance in Minnesota to Help Protect Environmental, Animal, and Human Health."

The University's School of Social Work and School of Education co-sponsor the "Prenatal to Three Policy Forums" in partnership with state elected officials and Elders for Infants. The success of our state depends on getting every child off to a great start. Many organizations and coalitions are working on plans across a wide variety of topics – from prenatal care to early learning, from home visiting to screenings, and more. The forums are intended to provide a space for early-childhood advocates, and those interested in this critical topic, to share their plans and build toward a unified agenda.

The University of St. Thomas also hosts an annual Day at the Capitol, which focuses on the Minnesota State Grant program. In partnership with the Minnesota Private College Council, the University advocates for need-based grants that help one out of every three Minnesota students pursue bachelor, associate and technical degrees.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

In June 2017, President Sullivan signed the "We are still in" Declaration, conveying the university's support of efforts to achieve the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement "to hold warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health."

In addition, the University of St. Thomas joined over 1,500 businesses and institutions in signing the "America is All in" statement, which was published in December of 2020. The statement affirms our commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement and calls for a national mobilization to advance just and equitable climate solutions. https://americaisallin.com/

In 2020, the University partnered with CRS to advocate for two federal bills that have recently been signed into law. The Global Fragility Act supports efforts to advance peacebuilding and prevent violent conflicts around the world. The Global Child Thrive Act advances support for early childhood development programs. To advocate for these bills, the university mailed post-cards and visited with staffer from the office of U.S. Senator Tina Smith.

In 2020, the University received two NSF grants to support sustainability-related research. One is for the acquisition of a scanning electron microscope and supporting instrumentation for geological, environmental and materials science research and teaching. The other is for the acquisition of a high-speed stereoscopic particle image velocimetry system for research and teaching at the University of St. Thomas. This will support a sustainability-related project on acoustic energy harvesting, among others.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

In June 2017, President Sullivan signed the "We are still in" Declaration, conveying the university's support of efforts to achieve the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement ""to hold warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health."

In addition, the University of St. Thomas joined over 1,500 businesses and institutions in signing the "America is All in" statement, which was published in December of 2020. The statement affirms our commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement and calls for a national mobilization to advance just and equitable climate solutions. https://americaisallin.com/


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

The University takes positions – nationally, statewide and locally – on public policy issues that directly affect higher education (in general) and our operations. For example, we are strong advocates for state and federal support of grant and loan programs that help students afford a college education.


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

As a 501c3, we do not make donations to candidates for office or those who hold office.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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