Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.43
Liaison Cora Kenfield
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Vassar College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Cora Kenfield
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Vassar Greens pursue environmental and social justice through action-based campaigns that create lasting change (from their mission statement).

SEED, Students for Equitable Environmental Decisions launched in the 2017/18 school year to serve as an activist hub for the college's carbon neutrality efforts.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Vassar Experimental Garden (VEG) was started March 2009 by a group students interested in learning to grow their own food and share gardening skills and information. The V.E.G. is organized through the ResLife office and is designed as a cooperative for students and non-students within the Vassar Community.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Challah for Hunger is a student run group and is a local chapter of the national organization. Student bake and sell challah every week to raise money for causes that actively promote social justice. From the the national website: ""For all the volunteers and many of the customers, Challah for Hunger provides opportunities to be involved in a fun and dedicated community, address humanitarian problems, develop and practice new skills like baking and marketing, gain business and leadership experience, engage in traditions of challah and tzedakah, become involved in advocacy and other forms of activism, and more."

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Sustainable Investments Club directly manages a mid-sized pool of funds donated by an alum with real-world investments to show the power and performance of impact investing.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

The Department of Environmental Studies routinely holds speaker series focused on sustainability each year as part of its curriculum.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

The Office of Sustainability hosted an art installation in early 2020 that showcased the negative Impacts of consumer waste.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Vassar College Outing Club is a student governed organization that aims to stimulate low-impact participation in and appreciation for the outdoors, while offering trained, reliable, and safe outdoor leadership, knowledge and equipment for the community without financial discrimination.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

The 2019 common reading for the College was There There by Tommy Orange, focusing on indigenous experiences.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Vassar has a number of cooperative living arrangements, formally and informally known as: Ferry Haus, Meat Haus, and Other Haus. Ferry Haus are vegetarian or vegan and both emphasize cooperative sustainable living by practicing composting and making and sharing group meals.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Through the Office of Community-Engaged Learning, students may participate in internships with local environmental organizations including Riverkeeper, Clearwater, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Scenic Hudson, and Sprout Creek Farm.

The Career Development Office hosts Sophomore Career Connections annually, a 2 day workshop for second year students to learn networking and discover potential career paths. There is a dedicated track for students interested in sustainability and environmental careers.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support 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.