Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Elias Frantz
Sustainability Assistant
VCU Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

Epsilon Eta is a student-led fraternity that fosters awareness of the intrinsic relationship between people and their environment through academics, the community, and service.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/epeta/home/

Eco Fashion is a student group that promotes sustainable fashion. They aim to teach students different ways to be sustainable with their clothes and bring awareness on how their clothes have an effect on people around the world.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/ecofashion/home/

Environmental Technology & Collaboration is a student group that brings students from all majors together to tackle environmental problems both in the community and around the world.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/environmentaltechnologyandcollaboration/home/

The Neo Environmental Organization is a student-led organization that creates a medium for VCU students to be involved with the evolution of Richmond and help direct it into an environmentally friendly city. By attempting to implement high technology in areas to indict change and adjust the infrastructure in Richmond to encourage positive effects through business practices and perseverance.
URL: https://www.facebook.com/neovcu/

The Society for Ecological Restoration is a student group that engages students at VCU with ecological restoration opportunities.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/ser/home/

The Students for Wildlife Conservation is a student group that educates students and provides volunteer and fundraising opportunities that will help VCU and the surrounding community establish a better relationship with the environment and improve education on conservation.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/wildlifeconservation/home/

The Sustainability, Accessibility & Partnership Club is a student group that encourages collaborative, intuitive, and realistic solutions to modern environmental issues in Richmond, Virginia. They strive to encourage education and action within the community on environmental issues and solutions globally, regionally and locally.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/sap/home/

109 World is a student-led international non-profit organization dedicated to facing and raising awareness about global, social, and environmental challenges with the power of social media and passionate college students.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/109worldatvcu/home/

The Wildlife Journal Club is a student group that educates and informs students about wildlife and the environment. They strive to engage students in the past, present, and future changes in wildlife diversity on our planet, and as an organization, they hope to spark an interest on campus about wildlife and the environment.
URL: https://vcu.campusgroups.com/wildlifejournal/home/


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?:
Yes

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

VCU has both Learning and Community gardens, located on the Monroe Park and VCU Health campuses respectively.

Our Learning Garden serves as an educational space, providing hands-on agricultural instruction for student volunteers and a unique opportunity to learn about the subtleties of urban farming. Students work with the Garden Coordinator to grow produce, develop garden projects for increased yield and lessened environmental impact, as well as maintain the physical space of the garden. All produce grown at the Learning Garden is donated to community partners within VCU and Richmond focused on healthy food education and alleviating food insecurity.

The Community Garden is located on the VCU Health campus and offers students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to lease raised bed space and share communal supplies in order to tend their own garden on campus. The garden consists of fourteen 5'x14' raised beds (each of which can be divided into thirds), three compost bins, and four storage benches where communal supplies are kept. Plot leases are available for purchase by all members of the VCU community in a variety of packages that aim to work with students' and staff's variable schedules. All plots in the community garden are currently rented.

URL: https://sustainability.vcu.edu/programs/gardening/gardens.html


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

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Shift Retail Lab is a multifunctional retail space where past and present VCU students can showcase their work to gain insights and test their products, services, and ideas with real-world customers. With their priorities being student and marginalized community access to productive spaces, they aim to build connections between local corporations and black-owned businesses. It serves as a learning lab for entrepreneurial and innovation-minded students to test ideas in the real world.

URL: https://davincicenter.vcu.edu/shift/


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?:
No

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

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

VCU has a variety of sustainability events throughout the academic year, including: Move-in day, Campus Sustainability Day, America Recycles Day, RecycleMania, VCU Bike Week, VCU Earth Week, Arbor Day, Careers & Conversations guest speaker events, and Move-Out Day.

URL: https://sustainability.vcu.edu/get-involved/events-volunteer/


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?:
Yes

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

The "Black Space Matters" exhibit that took place in a vacant parking lot of the Institute for Contemporary Art from Fall 2020-Summer 2021 was created to bring issues of food insecurity in black and brown communities to light. Also known as the Resiliency Garden, this exhibit consisted of beds of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, quotes from activists and civil rights leaders, and a mural that emphasizes the importance of a space specifically designed for black and brown people.

URL: https://rvahub.com/2020/10/13/black-space-matters-exhibit-transforms-asphalt-lot-behind-vcu-ica-into-garden/


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

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

The VCU Sports Recreation's Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) serves VCU students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests by providing low-cost outdoor activity-based trips, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing, caving, hiking, backpacking and skiing. On all of the trips every effort is taken to leave the campsite in better condition than it was found. The Outdoor Adventure Program takes the steps to ensure that no one leaves any trash or harms the environment on their trips.

URL: https://recsports.vcu.edu/programs/outdoor-adventure-program/


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

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

The Common Book is intended to create the opportunity to explore complex social issues through an interdisciplinary lens. Students are provided opportunities to explore real-world application and problem-solving. The book for the 2021 school year is Rising by Elizabeth Rush which focuses on the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on coastal communities.

URL: https://commonbook.vcu.edu


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

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

VCU Transform is a living-learning program dedicated to the development of current and future leaders through academic course work and co-curricular activities. The vision of VCU Transform is to cultivate servant leaders who transform lives and impact communities locally and globally. Environmental sustainability is addressed in the Transform curriculum.

URL: https://students.vcu.edu/departments/leadership-and-involvement/vcu-transform/


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

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

The VCU Office of Sustainability seeks student interns who are passionate about promoting sustainability on campus. Intern positions include a graphic design intern and general support interns. Responsibilities held by interns include overseeing communications, supporting staff projects and research, and attending weekly meetings with staff. Interns also have the opportunity to create and manage independent suitability projects.

URL: https://sustainability.vcu.edu/about/staff/


Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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