Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.06
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date May 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Virginia
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lia Cattaneo
Co-Chair, Student Council Sustainability Committee
Undergraduate Student
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
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
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills No
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives ---

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

All projects are student-governed. The number of groups and involvement in these groups has exploded over the past three years.

Campus Kitchen: The Campus Kitchens Project is a local chapter of a national non-profit that is committed to student-powered hunger relief. By taking prepared, unused food from dining halls and other sources, we are able to make meals for local community organizations such as the Salvation Army and On Our Own. To learn more about the national organization, please feel free to go to their website: http://www.campuskitchens.org/ To learn more about the Campus Kitchen at UVA, feel free to go to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theCKatUVA.

Climate Action Society: Climate Action Society exists to educate and encourage a student body that is convicted to solve the global climate crisis and to assist in propelling our university forward to become a leading institution in the field of sustainability. It serves as the connection between the global climate justice movement and the UVA student body. One of CAS’s main projects is sustainable investment at UVA. CAS works closely with the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, which connects student campaigns across the state and provides a platform for students to advocate for progressive, environmental change across the state; 350.org; and Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Crafting for Conservation: Members of Crafting for Conservation create aesthetically pleasing art and crafts out of recyclable materials during weekly meetings, thus supporting the recycling cause and promoting friendship and creativity. These crafts may be sold at art shows, in which the proceeds collected will go towards a green cause or group and/or towards C.F.C’s finances. Through its products, mission, and activities, Crafting for Conservation serves to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of recycling and living green, and strives to inspire others to act in more eco-friendly ways

DECAF: The Daring Explorers of Creative & Alternative Foods meet twice a month in the French House to cook and learn about different recipes. We specialize in recipes that include dietary restrictions but everyone is welcome to join–not just those with restrictions! In the past, we have made vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, kosher, and other dishes, and we are always accepting suggestions! We also occasionally go out as a group to the farmers’ market, to pick apples at Carter’s Mountain, or to enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant. See our past projects at decafatuva.wordpress.com!

: The ecoMOD / ecoREMOD Project is an initiative to design and build sustainable / highly energy-efficient housing for affordable housing units. Since 2004, over 400 architecture and engineering (and many other disciplines) have participated in some phase of the project. Rather than a club, ecoMOD / ecoREMOD is run through seminar and design studios in the School of Architecture and School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students from all disciplines are welcome. See www.ecomod.virginia.edu

: The Enactus team at UVA works to empower communities through the power of entrepreneurship. Enactus members work on multiple project teams throughout the year including multiple programs teaching business and leadership allowing opportunity for success and benefits in the community – one specific example being Earth Hour, empowering the university community to conserve their energy use. The mission of Enactus is to inspire action and the method of achieving this mission is through social entrepreneurship. For more information on Enactus and other Enactus team projects, visit www.enactusatuva.org

Engineering Students Without Borders: Engineering Students Without Borders (ESWB) is a student run organization at the University of Virginia that’s focused on applying sustainable engineering methods to carry out local and international community development projects. Our mission is to inspire students to be proactive and contextually aware engineers who empower communities to attain their basic human needs in a sustainable manner. 

Environmental Sciences Organization: The Environmental Sciences Organization (ESO) provides a link between the Environmental Sciences Department and the students of the University. While the organization is mainly geared toward undergraduate majors and minors in the department, it has its share of members from many different disciplines of the University. However, all members have one thing in common–an interest in the Environmental Sciences. ESO aims to aid students in becoming more involved in and educated about the Environmental Sciences Department. Members are provided with many opportunities to get to know the professors in the department as well as what the department has to offer outside of a major or minor. One of the organization’s core components is the aid, advice, and support that members have to offer each other about courses, activities, and resources within the department. ESO is able to do this through its many activities such as peer advising about courses, seminars about the department and professions in the Environmental sciences, and career and job search resources. Other enjoyable activities sponsored by ESO include the department barbeque, hiking trips, canoe trips, whitewater rafting, and a variety of fun outdoor activities. All University students are welcome to join and participate in any activity. Website: www.uvaeso.tumblr.com

Food Collaborative
: The University of Virginia Food Collaborative works to promote research, Photo of the Food Collaborative Group teaching, and community engagement around issues of food, agriculture and sustainability. Established in January 2010, the Collaborative includes faculty, staff, students, and community members. Current faculty and student research focuses on farmers markets, schoolyard gardens, food deserts, local food heritage, and other topics. The Food Collaborative sponsors talks, panels, and film screenings, and provides a focal point for University and community efforts to study and improve regional and local food systems. http://www.virginia.edu/vpr/sustain/foodcollaborative/

Global Brigades – Architecture: Our chapter provides students a unique opportunity to see the entire design and construction process from beginning to end. Every spring, there is a design competition among universities nationwide for the next project that will be built in Honduras, Panama, or Ghana. On top of the design process, students interested in helping build the project fundraise all year in order to travel to Honduras over winter break to work with local people to build the current project. The trip includes five days of construction, one day of visiting other Global Brigades projects and educating children at an orphanage on the basics of architecture.

Global Brigades – Water
: Global Water Brigades is a student-driven organization that seeks to address the issue of clean water access and conservation both here at U.Va and across the globe. Every year, our group organizes service trips to Honduras and Ghana, where students work alongside local communities, bringing clean water to some of the most remote and impoverished areas. At U.Va, we organize a series of events and initiatives that seek to educate the student body on the water crisis and its solutions.

Green Dining: Student lead group that identifies and advocates operational change as it relates food systems, waste management and resource conservation. Group meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss and strategize best practices.

Green Grounds
: The Green Grounds Group is dedicated to educating and advocating for sustainable planning, design, implementation and operations on the grounds of the University of Virginia. Formed in 2004 by planning and architecture students to address green design at the University, the group has evolved to sponsor projects that encompass a range of sustainable design ideas – from green roofs to energy use to transportation. Through each project, Green Grounds works with a diverse set of university stakeholders including administrators, staff, faculty, students and community members.

Greens to Grounds: Greens to Grounds is a student run non-profit that delivers locally grown produce, meat and specialty items to students on grounds. We operate as a community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative and work with local farmers and producers to get the best quality sustainably grown food possible for our customers. Beyond supporting local Charlottesville farmers and providing students with exceptional food, our mission is to help educate students about the virtues of buying and eating locally. Our customers are at a critical point in the development of their shopping habits, likely experiencing food autonomy for the first time in their lives, and we want to encourage them to be conscious food consumers. We want to be part of a paradigm shit away from unsustainable subsidized, destructive mega-agriculture and towards sustainable, wholesome, environmentally-friendly local food production. If you are interested in hearing more about our mission, reading our local food blog, finding interesting recipes, seeing what’s in our weekly boxes and/or joining the movement and buying a box, please visit our website at greenstogrounds.com. Lettuce make change together. Peas and love.

IFC Sustainability
: The University of Virginia Inter-Fraternity Council Sustainability Committee is committed to developing and administering programs aimed at decreasing the environmental impact of the Greek Community for the benefit of the Charlottesville community as a whole. Every weekend we work to maintain the clean, and respectable condition of Rugby road and the surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, we continue to work work toward implementing incentivized programs designed to fully engage the Greek Community in recycling initiatives. Our goal is to encourage and assist environmentally sustainable efforts that may help to promote environmentalism within the University and Charlottesville communities for years to come.

Net Impact (Undergraduate): Net Impact is an organization run by students whose mission is to inspire, educate and provide individuals with the necessary tools to intertwine business and social impact, creating a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Net Impact focuses on creating a positive change on grounds by raising awareness of sustainability careers, offering educational lectures on the importance of social impact in business settings and giving individuals the opportunity to build relationships with local social impact business leaders. In broader terms, Net Impact is a global nonprofit organization with students and professional members that has more than 240 chapters on six continents and thousands of professional, graduate, and undergraduate members. https://www.facebook.com/netimpactuva

Outdoors Club: Through both service projects and recreational adventures, Outdoors at UVa promotes an active and caring respect for the natural wilderness around which our community is built. Previous service projects include assisting the Appalachian Trail Foundation in parts of Shennandoah National Park, the annual canoe/cleanup of the Rivanna Watershed with the Rivanna Conservation Society, Stream stabilization project in Azalea Park, trail maintenance at Walnut Creek county park, and trail building with the Nature Conservancy.
For more information, visit outdoorsatuva.org.

Oxfam America at UVa: Oxfam America at UVa is a new CIO on grounds that was formed last fall. As a CIO, we work closely with Oxfam America, which is non-profit organization that works with local communities to find solutions to hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Oxfam America sends our group updates on their current campaigns and initiatives and we spread the word on campus, educating the student body about Oxfam’s global campaigns. We do this primarily through tabling/flyering, petition signing, and by hosting events. Our main focus is really to educate students about what Oxfam America is working on in the hopes that we inspire students who have similar passions to join us in our fight against global injustices.

SARC- EcoReps
: The EcoReps are the official sustainability group within the School of Architecture at UVA. Grads and undergrads, staff, and faculty within the School of Architecture are welcome to join. We focus on making the A-school a more sustainable environment, working on issues regarding energy, waste/recycling, paper/printing, general awareness, and more.

: Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) aims to help start-up NGOs worldwide by offering free consulting services in the areas of microfinance, operational efficiency, and marketing strategy. By incorporating best practices, it aims to foster economic development in local communities. SEED also strives to encourage social entrepreneurship within the University of Virginia community by hosting educational conferences and workshops and serving as a resource for networking between students and active practitioners.

Slow Food
: Slow Food at UVA is a loose organization that promotes good, clean, and fair food at the University and within greater Charlottesville. We host food-related events ranging from cooking classes to flash seminars with local businesses to workshops in food photography or brewing kombucha. We publicize our events mainly through our email list but anyone is welcome to attend. Check out our website and sign up for emails here: http://slowfoodatuva.wordpress.com

Student Council Sustainability Committee: The Sustainability Committee is a committee of the University of Virginia’s Student Council. The Committee strives to protect and improve the rights, opportunities, and quality of life for the University community through sustainability. We coordinate within and between the student body, sustainably-minded CIOs, the Office of Sustainability, and student government at UVA. We will be accepting new members at the beginning of the Spring semester.

Sustainability Advocates
: The Sustainability Advocacy program helps students on Grounds learn about sustainability efforts at UVa. The 50 student volunteers promote programs, educate peers and help grow UVa’s green efforts. We have Sustainability Advocates (SAs) for all first-year dorms, upper-class dorms, residential colleges, dining halls and libraries. SAs meet with us every other week, and educate their residents on sustainability issues throughout the school year.

The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

All projects are student-governed.

UVa Community Garden: Started by a student initiative, the University of Virginia’s Community Garden hopes to be a space for both Charlottesville and the University to learn more about organic gardening. Keeping with the agricultural traditions of the University’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, the garden is a place to foster the growth of community as well as food. The objectives of this garden are as follows: (1) To provide a valuable educational resource to UVa students, faculty, and staff; (2) To serve as a resource and link to the greater Charlottesville community; (3) To model the most economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable farming practices available to us, while preserving an integral part of the landscape and the local economy; (4) To provide UVa students, faculty, and staff with the opportunities to work on a farm and to learn the skills needed to produce food, experiencing its joys and challenges; and (5) To make UVa a model of organic gardening and sustainability. If you would like to join the UVA Community Garden volunteer email list for regular updates and volunteer opportunities, please send a note to uvacommunitygarden@gmail.com.

Thomas Jefferson Demonstration Garden: Located at the Hereford Residential College, the teaching garden is made up of Jefferson-documented “useful” plants, including varieties used for the production of food, medicine, textiles, dyes, and other materials that sustain and enhance life. The garden allows for hands-on teacher/student collaboration that encourages intellectual growth and enhances the physical characteristics of Hereford Residential College, all the while adhering to Hereford’s mission: to explore what it means to live responsibly as a sustainably-minded community.

Morven Kitchen Garden
: Our mission is to provide student leadership opportunities in sustainable market farming, inspire community participation in local food systems, and to offer an outdoor laboratory for agricultural research. The garden is located on UVA's Morven Farm, a 3000-acre farm near the University.

Madison House Community Garden: Volunteers work with Piedmont Virginia Community College students and community members to cultivate and maintain an organic garden for use as a practical learning platform for environmentally sound horticulture. Food produced in the garden is donated to the Haven. For more information and to register, visit: http://www.madisonhouse.org/ae/index.php

The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

Greens to Grounds: a non-profit, student-run CSA (community supported agriculture) model bringing fresh, local produce to the UVA and Charlottesville community. They strive to create a sustainable relationship between the UVA student body and the Charlottesville agricultural community. They seek to provide students, faculty and community members with access to fresh, seasonal, and local produce on a weekly basis.

The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

Darden Capital Management (DCM) is a student organization that prepares students for careers in asset management by managing approximately $5 million of Darden’s endowment. One of five funds managed by DCM, the Rotunda Fund integrates sustainability research with fundamental analysis to select investments that are likely to outperform the market due to the improved long-term financial performance and lower risk features that accompany sustainable practices. The Fund is student-governed.

The University Committee on Sustainability advises the Executive Vice Presidents on all matters related to the University’s commitment to sustainability and how those impact the future of the University including interrelated environmental, financial, teaching, research, and social aspects. There is now a working group on the committee dedicated to sustainable finance. This working group is developing a Responsible Investment proposal that will go in front of the Board of Visitors in September. The Committee is no student-governed.

The Climate Action Society has begun a divestment campaign. Students support the Responsible Investment proposal proposed by the University Committee on Sustainability working group.

The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

UVa Earth Week occurs every year, and holds over 20 events varying from symposiums, green career fairs to eco fairs and even a concert series that requires no electricity.

Campus Sustainability Days: A an annual two-day "Earth Week" during the first semester that aims to raise awareness of sustainability efforts around Grounds. There are seminars, presentations, panels, etc.

Environmental Sciences Seminar Series: Every week, different speakers come to discuss environmental topics for students, faculty, and staff.

The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

~ask rebecca to talk about art project last year~

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Mock Up (to be completed Spring 2015): This is a mock-up of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline positioned on the UVA Lawn. It will be marched towards the Rotunda by pipeline opposers and then laid at the heart of central grounds on the lawn. The installation seeks to demonstrate the physical intrusion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on land in Virginia.

2014-2015 Artist in Residence: Natalie Jeremijenko. Natalie Jeremijenko is not only is a studio art professor at NYU, but also holds degrees in computer science, biochemistry, neuroscience, and engineering. Her work is largely informed by her vast knowledge of the sciences, specifically regarding environmental concerns and the ways in which humans interact with our surroundings.

CarbonFeed: A new media installation will visually represent the carbon emissions generated from tweets. The project will convert real-time tweets into music and release each tweet’s carbon equivalent of air into water-filled cylinders. The installations will be on display at the University of Virginia Libraries

The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Outdoors Club is a student-led group that leads a variety of trips into the surrounding appalachian area. http://www.outdoorsatuva.org/. The Outdoor Recreation center allow students to rent equipment that they want to go on a variety of excursions including camping, rock climbing and water sports.

The Environmental Sciences Organization conducts similar trips.

The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The First Year Leadership Experience is an opportunity for First Year students to help foster growth in their residential and class communities through the core values of academic rigor, diversity and multiculturalism, health and wellness, honor, public service and student self-governance.The Sustainability Advocates, UVa's in-residence peer-to-peer volunteer program, works closely with FYLE to build sustainability into their programming. Specifically, they work with FYLE leaders on how to have a green dorm, how to recycle and organizing a FYLE volunteer day at UVA's recycling warehouse.

The website URL where information about the theme is available:

A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

We provide two online videos on how to recycle and how to have a green dorm.

The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Office for Sustainability has a group of paid student employees who work during the school year and summer.

Facilities Management and the Office for the Architect also host internships related to sustainability.

Students can also work for sustainability-minded professors doing research.

The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:

The University of Virginia Law School has an official "Pro Bono Program" in which 265 students logged pro bono hours, 17,609 pro bono hours logged, 105 Class of 2014 graduates completed at least 75 hours of pro bono while in law school, 45 students participated in the Alternative Spring Break trip with eleven different locations (students in Washington, D.C., above).

For more information, please refer to: http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/publicserv/probono.htm

The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.