Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.23
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date June 14, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Texas at Austin
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Brianna Duran
CEC Coordinator; Sustainability Student Programs
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:

"The Campus Environmental Center empowers the University of Texas at Austin community to pursue a genuine culture of environmental sustainability through constructive and dynamic means.

Engineers for a Sustainable World mobilizes engineers and non-engineers through education, training, and action. We build collaborative partnerships to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Net Impact (Graduate) provides a form for members of the Graduate School of Business to discuss issues of social sustainability and social responsibility.

Environmental Law Society is a social and professional student organization at The University of Texas School of Law that coordinates and brings together environmentally-minded students for educational, volunteer, career-oriented and social events.

BEEVO Beekeeping Society seeks to reinvest beekeeping to individuals. If more people keep bees, there’s more pollination, and more environmental sustainability. BEEVO has a campus apiary where we students can teach/learn the art of beekeeping.

Generation United Nations at UT-Austin is a branch of the national chapter that is affiliated with the UN-USA. Their goal will be to implement the 17 sustainable development goals of the UN through volunteering and philanthropic events. They are focusing on one sustainability goal each month through partnerships with different organizations on campus and throughout the greater Austin area.

Environment Texas at UT-Austin is a student-led organization that seeks to advance local and national environmental campaigns through various methods including tabling, petitioning, collaborating with other student organizations, and lobbying.

CleanTech Group's mission is to support McCombs MBA students’ efforts to address global energy and environmental challenges by facilitating educational, networking, and recruiting opportunities in a range of business functions across the energy and environmental sectors.

Longhorn Stream Team encompasses four main pillars of purpose: science, service, environmental leadership and river readiness.

Longhorn Lights Out hosts UT-Austin's campus-wide event where occupants reduce energy by turning off lights, unplugging unnecessary electronics and powering down computer equipment the last Friday of every month.

The University of Texas Solar Vehicles Team (UTSVT) is a student-driven effort to design, build, test, and race solar vehicles for the purpose of raising awareness of solar power, reinforcing skills learned in the classroom, and bringing solar power closer to practicality."


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 Texas at Austin has a number of gardens and farms on campus. The Division of Housing and Food Services maintains two gardens on campus which supply food to the campus dining halls. These gardens are maintained in part by students employed through the Division of Housing and Food Services’ Green Corps program as well as student volunteers. The UT Microfarm, a project of the Campus Environmental Center, is UT’s first student-run farm. The farm, located on-campus, supplies food to the dining halls, on-campus farm stand, a local farmers market, and local food pantries. It offers valuable student experience in the form of paid student leaders, volunteer team members, and weekly volunteer opportunities. The Microfarm also has a small community garden which allows students, staff, and faculty an opportunity to rent plots and learn to grow their own food. The Microfarm is run as a sustainable, organic food system.


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:

UT Farm Stand's mission is to promote local organic produce for students, faculty, and staff of UT Austin. They also focus on education of sustainability, health, accessibility, and affordability. UT Farm Stand is student-led and managed on-campus farm stand.

BEEVO Beekeeping Society, a registered student organization, maintains on-campus hives and sells the honey. They seek to reinvest beekeeping to individuals because if more people keep bees, there's more pollination, and more environmental sustainability. They strive to teach students the art of beekeeping.


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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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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:

"Hot Science Cool Talks is a lecture series organized by the Environmental Science Institute (ESI) in which researchers from the University of Texas and other universities present their work in an engaging manner to the University of Texas and greater Austin community.

Net Impact hosts an annual Business for Good summit, an inspiring day of discussion, learning, and networking as the best and brightest business leaders, social entrepreneurs, and visionaries discuss the future of social responsibility and social impact.

The UT Energy Symposium is an annual event event with the goals of fostering interdisciplinary discussion on today’s most pressing energy challenges and convening the knowledge from across campus at UT Austin.

Sustainability on Tap, co-hosted by the Office of Sustainability and the Graduate School, started in fall 2017. This event brings together graduate students from across campus to hear their peers present on their sustainability/environmental research/interests.

Careers in Sustainability Speaker Series, hosted by the College of Liberal Arts, gives students an opportunity to learn about sustainability initiatives on-campus and in the Austin community as well as ways for them to get involved.

Green Materials Lab is a five-part series of workshops hosted by the School of Architecture that introduces interdisciplinary efforts in sustainable materials and promotes learning through hands-on activity.

Environmental Humanities @ UT is a series of workshops and lectures that highlights artistic and humanistic respones to issues such as enviornmental racism, art and activism, climate change, and food politics."


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

The Department of Art and Art History presented an exhibition of posters designed by Type Hike: a collaborative nonprofit design project that supports the outdoors through typography. Type Hike was born from the belief that all designers are obligated to use their talent and ability to make the world a better place. Created by David Rygiol and James Louis Walker, the project began in August of 2016 with a series of 60 designs celebrating the National Park Service Centennial. It now includes 3 unique series, focusing on national shorelines and recreation areas as well as endangered animals. All profits are donated to help protect and preserve the outdoors and its inhabitants.

The UT Dept. of English, Center for Mexican American Studies, Dept. of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies cohosted Dr. Priscilla Ybarra, Associate Professor of English and Latina/o and Mexican-American Studies at the University of North Texas, to discuss her recent book, WRITING THE GOODLIFE: MEXICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT (2016, The University of Arizona Press) with UT Austin Professors John Moran Gonzalez and Domino Renee Perez.


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:

Through the Adventure Trip Program, UT Austin offers a variety of outdoor recreation programs. Leave No Trace is practiced on these 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)?:
Yes

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

All first-year students at UT must participate in a Freshman Interest Group (FIG). FIGS take 2-4 classes together during their first fall semester and attend a weekly seminar led by a peer mentor and a staff facilitator. Students can opt into a Sustainability & Society interdisciplinary FIG as well as an array of other FIGs that either focus or touch on sustainability.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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 Division of Housing and Food Service and Office of Sustainability have partnered to offer the Sustainability Living Learning Community. The Sustainability LLC will broadly explore the connection between environmentalism, social justice, and economic longevity, commonly considered the three major components of sustainability – planet, people, and profit. This LLC encourages people curious OR skeptical about any aspect of sustainability to join the community. The year-long program will include opportunities to study the impact of personal and social activities on the environment and vulnerable populations, understand the social and natural ecosystems of Austin and the university, and go “hyperlocal” with sustainability by designing, within the community, ways to make this LLC sustainable and enriching for all participants.


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:

There are a number of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities on campus. The Division of Housing and Food Services employs students in their Green Corps and Farm Stand programs. Students spend their time tending the DHFS campus gardens, conducting sustainability outreach, and managing an on-campus mini farmer's market. The Office of Sustainability employs student interns to lead the Green Offices and Green Labs programs and to assist with communications/outreach. Through both university and Green Fee funding, the Campus Environmental Center employs student leaders for their programs (Green Greeks, Green Events, Trash to Treasure, Microfarm, BATX) as well as for more general education/outreach leadership roles.

Resource Recovery employs approximately 20 students each year (some are paid and some are unpaid through partnerships with other on-campus programs such as ProjectLEAD). These students work on the following teams: E-Waste & Lab Equipment, Outreach & Social Media, Graphic Design & Communications, Online Auction, Reuse Store, Zero Waste Workplace, and Waste Audit.

Texas Athletics employs 8 students to lead the Sustainability Squad program.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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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?:
Yes

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

The Green Fee is a student fee that is collected with tuition each semester. A competitive grant program, students, faculty, and staff are able to apply to Green Fee to fund a sustainability project on campus or sustainability-related research. Many of these projects are led by students and some include student employment. Such projects include: UT Microfarm, BEEVO Beekeeping Society, Aquaponics, and more. Green Fee decisions are made by a student majority committee - participation in this committee is another way students can get involved in sustainability on campus.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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.