Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.37
Liaison Preston Jacobsen
Submission Date April 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Preston Jacobsen
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
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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:

Student Environmental Initiatives Committee: The mission of this committee is to identify, research, and recommend uses of funds supporting environmental stewardship and sustainability as well as clean and renewable energy technologies.


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:

he purpose of the University of Tennessee Organic and Sustainable Crop Production Program is to involve more Tennessee farmers in organic production in order to increase farm income and to provide an alternative to keep the family farm in the family. The Organic Unit offers workshops, extension services,education, and insight into organic crop production.


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:

reVOLve. is UTK's on-campus, mobile thrift store, developed by first-year Venture students in Sustainability Business Administration 102 for their 2014 class project. At the end of the academic year, the students and their partnering organizations (Center for Leadership and Service, UT Recycling, and UT’s Office of Sustainability) hosted reVOLve. Out - where students donated clothing, furniture, electronics, shoes, accessories, rugs, coat hangers, mirrors, art supplies, books, non-perishable food, and other unwanted items. The collected items were then sorted, cleaned, and stored until the beginning of the following academic year when the group sold the items at a campus yard sale as students returned to campus.

The UT Outdoor Program hosts the Bike Shop, an on-campus workshop were students, faculty and staff can fix their bikes. Students willing to work on their own bikes can do so for free using the tools at the shop, or they can bring their bikes by to learn how to fix them. Students may also drop off their bikes to be fixed by student mechanics for a fee of $10/hour, plus the cost of parts. The shop also sells individual parts.


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:

The Student Environmental Initiatives Fee, or Green Fee, is a student facilities fee that aims to raise funding for green power and campus sustainability initiatives. The Green Fee was started in 2005 by student vote during SGA elections, and consists of a $10/$35 fee per semester for in-state/out-of-state students. The Green Revolving Fund within the Green Fee provides money to be invested in sustainability initiatives on campus. These funds are administered by the Student Environmental Initiatives Committee, which is made up of students, faculty and staff. During monthly meetings, voting student members participate in funding discussions before voting on proposals. Previous projects funded by the Green Revolving Fund have included green power purchases, SMC lighting system upgrades, and membership to AASHE. Additionally, the Student Environmental Initiatives Committee has created a dedicated fund for FY 16 and FY 17 within the Green Fee to provide students an opportunity to research, design, and monitor sustainability related projects. This fund will be dedicated to student design/research projects across all academic departments. This fund serves to provide a campus wide funding opportunity that is directed toward student-led projects and experiential learning. Projects should be completed within one semester, with two-semester projects needing approval from faculty adviser.


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 Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy hosts the Energy & Environmental Forum. The E&E Forum reaches out to the academic community to share their research findings from a broad set of national and international academic departments, researchers, and students with a common interest in environmental and energy issues. An interdisciplinary committee of UT faculty invites four to six speakers each semester from fields such as ecology, economics, urban planning, law, atmospheric chemistry and sociology to present on occasional Thursdays from 1-2:30 pm in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium.

-Students in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program at UT are required to attend a certain amount of seminars throughout the semester, so the program hosts the EEB Seminar Series, featuring academics from universities around the world to discuss their research and supplement the curriculum. While not all of the forums are environmentally-focused, the majority are.

-Started in 1933, the UT Science Forum is one of the oldest UT organizations. It focuses on sharing the latest scientific research with the public – giving opportunity to students, UT professors, and the general public to learn about cutting-edge research at UT, ORNL, and other local facilities. This event takes place every Friday at noon in the Thompson-Boling Arena Café throughout the academic year. While not all of the forums are environmentally-focused, many are.

-The Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, led by students in the UT Law School brought together hundreds of eco-minded and socially conscious activists, attorneys, students, scientists, and citizens in the interest of achieving environmental and social justice throughout Appalachia and the surrounding areas. The 2016 conference featured a series of workshops with the goal of exchanging information, sharing skills, and fostering collaboration between grassroots organizations, the bar, and future lawyers and policy-makers. These workshops addressed the region’s most pressing ecological problems, as well as the underlying laws, policies, and institutional dynamics that have enhanced these issues.


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:

Recent examples include The Art of Recycling and Sustainability: The Art Show.
-Earth Month 2016, the UT Sculpture Program and Dogwood Arts put together a sculpture exhibition entitled The Art of Recycling. The event featured artworks inspired by and incorporating scrap metal provided by a local steel recycler, Gerdau.

-UT Recycling showcased several local artists in honor of Earth Month 2016 for Sustainability: The Art Show. All works at the exhibition highlighted sustainability and sustainability issues. The first 25 guests were gifted with zero waste toolkits.


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?:
Yes

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

The University of Tennessee Outdoor Program (UTOP) seeks to provide the campus community with outdoor recreation opportunities. UTOP programs emphasize environmental stewardship, including Leave No Trace principles. While UTOP is not student governed, students are given the opportunity to lead some programs and trips.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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:
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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 Green House is a living and learning community dedicated to sustainability in which students live, learn, and serve green on campus and in the Knoxville community. This community offers first year students an opportunity to incorporate sustainable practices and principles into their daily lives while living on a college campus. During their time in the Green House, they will participate in exclusive outdoor events and networking opportunities, take environmentally focused classes with fellow LLC members, and volunteer on and off campus with organizations like UT Recycling and Beardsley farm.


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:

Both the Office of Sustainability and the UT Recycling office have opportunities for regular and work study student positions as well as unpaid internships for experience or class credit. The Office of Sustainability student workers assist in outreach and education, program development, and data collection. UT Recycling student workers work in outreach and education (Special Event/Catering Outreach, Fraternity and Sorority Outreach, Office Outreach, Compost Testing, Event Assistant and Photographer, Administrative Assistant) or in labor positions (Collection and Forklift Operator, Recycling Request Specialist, Universal Waste Processing). These positions contribute to enhancing the following sustainability goals on campus: -Reduce air, water, and land pollution from campus operations - Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of nonrenewable resources -Promote recycling and conservation practices among the UT community - Protect and enhance the beauty of campus grounds and facilities - Demonstrate the university's commitment to environmental stewardship. http://facserv.utk.edu/sustainability/about-us/


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:
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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?:
No

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