Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 80.17
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date May 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
EN-2: Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kay-Lynn Yacoboski
Sustainability Intern
Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Are the following students provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability?:
Yes or No
First-year students Yes
Transfer students Yes
Entering graduate students Yes

Percentage of all entering students that are provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability:

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation :

At UVic all new students including undergraduates, transfers, and grad students have the opportunity and encouragement to engage in and learn about sustainable practices on campus. During orientation each student receives a New Student Handbook in which there is a section dedicated solely to sustainability. This section of the New Student Handbook emphasizes tips for “Going Green” in daily practices, as well as highlights different sustainability initiatives, sustainability-focused groups, and sustainable infrastructure on campus. Each new student also receives a tour of the campus during orientation week. The tour includes education and awareness of sustainability on campus such as the Campus Bike Center, Sort-It-Out waste reduction stations, water bottle filling stations, the SPOKES program, information on how to take transit, and much more.

Information on sustainability-focused groups in the New Student Handbook include a short profile on the Residence Green Team which provides students access to campus sustainability volunteering opportunities. There is also information on the UVic Sustainability Project which is a student group dedicated to building a sustainable campus and community through several different projects, practices and events. The Campus Community Garden is additionally featured in this section as a proud initiative dedicated to providing a space on campus for sustainable urban agriculture. Contact information for getting involved in all three of these groups are provided to students within the handbook. New students are also provided with the when, where and how of UVic’s Campus Bike Center in the New Student Handbook. Information includes the Bike Center’s hours, number of parking spots, various tools available to students, as well as information on the University’s SPOKES program. The SPOKES program offers refurbished bicycles to be rented, loaned or sold to UVic students. This is to encourage students to bike to campus or consider more sustainable alternatives of daily travel, as well as promote re-use and recycling of bicycles.

Beyond the New Student Handbook, newcomers can engage with sustainability topics during orientation through the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability’s information table. Awareness of waste reduction is promoted through providing students with reusable items such as coffee mugs, reusable bags, reusable food containers, and metal straws. Waste reduction is further promoted through the President’s Welcome BBQ on orientation day. This event feeds approximately 3,000 students and aims to be as close to zero-waste as possible with the help of the Res Green Team staff sorting waste properly at various stations. Other orientation events include fairs such as Vikes Thunderfest which is a large back-to-school kick off event organized by Vikes Nation, the UVic Students’ Society, and Residence Life in which sustainability activities are featured. The Graduate Student Info Fair also hosts an informational table staffed by the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability.

The Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability additionally collaborated with the Communications and Marketing Department to put out a “Back to School Sustainable Countdown” on the University of Victoria’s various social media outlets. In the five days leading up to orientation, one post was made each day with a different tip on sustainable practices, followed by information on different resources that are available at UVic to implement those practices. The “Sustainable Countdown” was used to take advantage of UVic’s broader online reach in order to make students aware of sustainable options and various resources available to them.

Website URL where information about sustainability in student orientation is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Information about the President’s Welcome BBQ: https://www.uvic.ca/orientation/volunteer/staff-volunteer/index.php

Information about Vikes Thunderfest:

“Sustainable Countdown” Social Media Posts:

Date: Aug. 26
Text: Just one week until school starts again. Prepare for the fall semester with some Sustainability Tips!
#1. Break up with your paper cup & carry your own coffee mug. All food outlets that serve coffee on campus have a $0.25 discount for those who bring reusable mugs!

Date: Aug 27
Text: Back to School Sustainability Tip #2
While it’s still sunny and warm, try walking or cycling to school. You can rent/loan a bicycle from SPOKES or find a U-Bicycle at one of our six drop off zones!

Date: Aug 28
Text: Back to School Sustainability Tip #3
Thrifting is economical and socially and environmentally sustainable! Save a few bucks on your back-to-school clothes and housewares, support local charities and save usable treasures from the landfill! We will be hosting our own Move-In Day Thrift Shop September 1 from 9-3 in the Michele Pujol Room.

Date: Aug 29
Text: Back to School Sustainability Tip #4
Take a course related to sustainability! Last year, UVic offered over 500 courses content related to social, economic and environmental sustainability issues. To see the list, go to our Sustainability in academics and research page on the UVic Sustainability website. Make learning about sustainability a part of your degree in 2019-2020!

Date Aug 30
Text: Back to School Sustainability Tip #5
Check out other cool campus communities like the Campus Community Garden, The Free Store, Community Cabbage, UVSP, Meal Exchange and many more! These are student-run groups that are passionate about making a difference and having fun while they do it!

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.