|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
Washington and Lee University
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Education
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 Student Environmental Action League (SEAL) "aims to increase environmental awareness among students, promote campus sustainability, and inform students about environmental service opportunities. In addition, we give students opportunities to participate actively in improving the environment, both globally and locally." The group is funded by the Student Executive Committee (they fund student organizations), and they have monthly full-body meetings, as well as monthly officers meetings. They have a full agenda of activities each year, including Sustainability Month, and they participate in the activities of the University Sustainability Committee, too.
Engineering Community Development:Engineering Community Development combines efforts of all majors to make a positive impact on communities locally and abroad.
Campus Kitchen, which focuses on food waste reduction through food recovery and fighting food insecurity in the community (Rockbridge County, VA).
Compost Crew, includes students who reduce food waste by picking up food scraps from all venues on campus and delivering them to our on-site composting system (to turn into future compost).
We also have the Citizens Climate Lobby
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:
“The Campus Garden was started in the summer of 2008 with assistance from Dining Services, the Biology and Facilities Management Departments and the Campus Kitchen Project. The one acre garden is planted in vegetables and herbs. Compost from the campus composting program and leaves from the campus grounds are used to nourish the plants. The produce is used by the Campus Kitchen Project and the herbs and some vegetables are used by Washington and Lee Dining Services.”
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:
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 General Development Initiative, founded in the spring of 2010, is a student-run group which funds are raised and subsequently loaned in small amounts to individuals in the developing world, specifically South and Central America for the time being, to “enable economic self-empowerment of the poor.” Returns from these microloans are thus loaned back out, creating a sustainable system, in terms of both economics and social equity.
We also have a sustainability mini-grants program to fund student-led sustainability projects. http://www2.wlu.edu/Documents/sustainability/SustainabilityMiniGrants.pdf
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 Environmental Studies department hosts a Climate Change lecture series every semester. We also participate in Campus Sustainability Month, which includes speakers, movies, "Weigh the Waste", etc...
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:
We have the Stanier Art Gallery, which has rotating exhibits, many of which are nature-focused. One of the most recent exhibits is detailed below.
Christa Bowden, Emily Gómez, Ernesto Gómez
Cumberland Island: Land, Water, Wind, and Light:
In 2016, during the national park system centennial, artists Christa Bowden, Emily Gómez, and Ernesto Gómez began a multi-year collaborative project to document the unique biome of Cumberland Island, a barrier island about the size of Manhattan, located off the coast of Georgia. The island is one of seven Atlantic Coast national seashores, and a part of the national park system. Though it has escaped wide-scale development through expansive yet politically divisive preservation efforts, Cumberland Island, like all coastal areas, is incredibly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. With this project, the artists hope to expand the existing photographic documentation of Cumberland Island in order to increase awareness of its significance and fragility, as well as to provide a record for future generations, should the island be lost or irrevocably altered due to climate change. Christa Bowden is a Professor of Photography at Washington and Lee University. Emily Gómez and Ernesto Gómez both teach in the Department of Art at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA.
W&L generally hosts eco-poetry readings about twice a year.
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:
The Outing Club’s mission statement says, “W&L Outing Club promotes the safe, low-impact exploration of the mountains, rivers, and trails of the southeast.” The Outing Club offers a place for positive, healthy interactions between all students, faculty, and staff without the pressures that often accompany any social or academic activity. It also teaches skills while enabling student leaders.
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:
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:
We have a Sustainability themed residential theme house. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 9 students lived and participated in sustainability lifestyle processes and events. This is where half of our sustainable cooking classes are currently held (school year 2019-2020).
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
We have opportunities for Sustainability Interns through work study. If a student is not eligible for work study and wants to become an intern, they are then paid out of the Office of Sustainability budget. In addition, we have the Compost Crew, which is a group of students who are paid to collect food waste around campus. All in all, we pay roughly 28 students through either federal funding or the Office of Sustainability budget.
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):
Washington and Lee University does not require students to make a pledge concerning environmental responsibility upon graduation.
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.