|Overall Rating||Silver - expired|
|Submission Date||April 22, 2015|
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
EN-1: Student Educators Program
|4.00 / 4.00||
Facilities Planning and Management
Does the institution coordinate one or more ongoing student, peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs that meet the criteria for this credit?:
Number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
Name of the student educators program (1st program):
Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (1st program):
A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):
UW-Whitewater has a formal Eco-Rep program administered through the Leadership Involvement Teams (LITs) in each residence hall complex. On campus, there are eight Leadership Involvement Teams, each with their own Eco-Rep. The population served by the Eco-Rep Program is the entire resident population at UW-Whitewater.
The primary activities that these Eco-Reps perform are attendance at meetings, the dissemination of sustainability news and information to residents and interested parties, the planning and execution of sustainability programs, and the education of residents. In the past, there have been several programs executed by the Eco-Reps. The following are some examples of educational programming:
- Sustainable Halloween Decorations: In this program, residents were invited to bring recyclables and trash to create Halloween costumes and decorations. Adhesives, markers, and other craft items were provided. The program was designed to show there are other uses for garbage than just throwing it away.
- Save a Fish, Take a Fish: This program was meant to show the importance of our water ecosystems. Residents attended a viewing of a TED talk regarding oceanic sustainability, after which they discussed what they had learned.
- Recycling Olympics: This program was created to engage students in alternative uses of waste. Events such as bowling (done with a paper ball and plastic bottles for pins) and sorting (determining which items were recyclable and which weren’t for our municipality) were part of this program.
- Passive Campaigns: Along with active and engaging programs, Eco-Reps also create passive campaigns, such as digital signage and bulletin boards, to disseminate information. These have ranged from bulletin boards about recycling to digital signage about saving the world’s oceans and the Pacific Garbage Patch. The passive campaigns are purely educational in nature.
A brief description of how the student educators are selected (1st program):
The Eco-Reps positions are all volunteer. The Reps are required to be for-credit degree-seeking students that live in the residence halls. They will serve as representatives for the LIT from which they are selected, as well as the other residence halls that are members of that LIT. All prospective Eco-Reps must be approved for the position by their LIT and their Assistant Complex Director before they can be an Eco-Rep.
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):
Training for the Eco-Rep position is completed in two parts. The first is a general LIT training that takes place for all LIT positions each year in September, including the Eco-Rep position. The second part is a more formalized training takes place once the Eco-Reps are selected. At this second training, the Residence Life Student Sustainability Coordinator and the Campus Sustainability Coordinator are present to discuss the goals of the program and hand out a program manual full of ideas for the Eco-Reps in terms of programming and support. This second training also serves as a forum for any questions or concerns the Eco-Reps might have about their positions.
The Eco-Rep program is managed from the top by the Assistant Complex Director (ACD) in their respective hall, who gives them guidance and makes them aware of sustainability initiatives that they want to take place within their complexes. Guidance is also provided by the Residence Life Sustainability Coordinator. A manual was created in the central office to serve as ongoing guidance and provide ideas for programming and ways to engage residence hall students.
A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (1st program):
Financial assistance for programming and other obligations of the Eco-Reps is provided through LIT funds. This funding is provided on a use-it-or-lose-it basis, and is available to every executive position of the LIT for programming purposes. The amount of money received by the LIT is determined on previous spending for that LIT, as well as the resident population that the LIT serves.
Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):
The UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative is a campus-wide marketing campaign run by Creative Marketing Unlimited (CMU), a student-run marketing firm that works closely with their partner student organization, American Marketing Association (AMA). AMA is a significant force on our campus, with membership typically much larger than an average student organization, and they have received national recognition and awards for their successes.
CMU is run as a business, so the Sustainability Office and Facilities Planning and Management Department has engaged them to find new and innovative ways to connect with their fellow students on sustainable topics. They often will host events and do tabling in the University Center to highlight sustainability initiatives or provide general information on sustainable living as a college student. They are particularly focused on off-campus and commuting students, who do not receive the same type of sustainability marketing and messaging as on-campus resident students. However, their mission is considered to be a campus-wide marketing campaign, so their scope is not limited to any particular subset.
A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):
Student educators are selected by the student organization itself, based on skill in marketing and interest in sustainability topics. As one of their larger accounts, the number of students assigned to assist with the account is typically a significant portion of their overall membership, although the account is typically managed by one or two key individuals.
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (2nd program):
The students that manage the Earth Initiative campaign have weekly meetings to receive feedback, training, and other forms of guidance throughout the academic year. Additionally, they are supplied with materials that help explain the programs in place that they are expected to promote. Otherwise, much of what they do is based on best practices research and understanding how to convey basic sustainability information and messenging that their peers find engaging.
A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (2nd program):
The program is supported through the sustainability budget on a contract basis.
Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):
A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (3rd program):
A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):
Name(s) of the student educator program(s) (all other programs):
Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by all other student educator programs:
A brief description of the program(s), including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (all other programs):
A brief description of how the student educators are selected (all other programs):
A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (all other programs):
A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (all other programs):
Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
The website URL for the peer-to-peer student outreach and education program(s):
Areas of opportunity include a more structured and formal training for both groups and a more delineated selection process that identifies students with a particular aptitude in sustainability issues and outreach methods.
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.