Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.15
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Virginia
EN-2: Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.60 / 2.00 Lela Garner
Sustainability Coordinator
Office for 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 No

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 :

The Office for Sustainability participates in Orientations and engages incoming undergraduate students in a variety of ways:

At the beginning of the summer, all Orientation Leaders (OL) participate in an hour-long training session that covers a wide array of sustainability topics. Content includes: overviews of UVA’s Sustainability plan, energy and water conservation practices, civic engagement opportunities, and resources to share with their respective dorms. This equips all OLs to answer any sustainability-related questions coming from incoming first-years and also to incorporate sustainability resources into all tours and conversations.

During the bi-weekly orientation sessions, the Office for Sustainability participates in the Welcome Fair where all incoming first-years learn more about sustainability resources and best practices. Students receive some type of sustainability swag depending on the year - past items have included sporks, water bottles,and reusable snack bags.

At the end of summer - before students arrive - we work closely with the Housing and Residence Life staff to ensure all Residence Advisors are well-versed on sustainability practices. We lead a presentation with the entire staff (200+ students) and provide two additional workshops that all RAs are encouraged to attend.

As students arrive on Grounds for move-in, we provide them with a number of physical resources to ease their transition onto Grounds. In their welcome packets, students receive a Green living Guide, which walks students through actionable ways to live sustainably in their residence spaces. We also work with the Eco-leaders to hand out recycling magnets, shower hang tags, and water conservation mirror clings to place in their dorms. We also sponsor an event during move-in (Welcome Week) with the orientation team. In fall 2019 we hosted an outdoor screening of Wall-E and discussed the importance of waste minimization efforts, zero waste events, and composting practices on Grounds.

Finally, throughout orientation and the first few weeks of class, we heavily promote our Green Living Certification Program, where students living on Grounds commit to 20 green actions and receive rewards and recognition. Over 500 students participated in Fall 2019 and over 1000 students have completed the certification since it’s start date.

For graduate students, representatives from our office attend numerous welcome fairs and departmental orientations to introduce incoming graduate-students to sustainability on Grounds. We promote sustainability resources and also offer more formal ways to get involved with sustainability efforts (ex: joining one of our working groups or participating in sustainability-focused research).

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

UVA hosts 10+ 2-day orientations throughout the summer to account for the large number of incoming students. Once students have arrive on Grounds in late August, we head into "Welcome Week" to acquaint students to their new home and discuss engagement opportunities.

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.