Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.27
Liaison Jane Stewart
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Washington and Lee University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kimberly Hodge
Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Education
Student Affairs
"---" 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 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).

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:


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:

We participate in Campus Sustainability Month, which includes speakers, movies, "Weigh the Waste", etc...

The fall semester of 2021 also included a "Just Food: Land Access, Redlining, and Food Sovereignty", which examines the many ways in which the food system interacts with issues of justice. This first year of the series will include speaking events that focus around issues of indigenous foodways and culture revitalization, land theft and USDA discrimination, and governmental intervention. Many of the events also include discussions around sustainability and sustainable food system issues.

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.

W&L generally hosts eco-poetry readings about twice a year.

W&L also has an Eco Art course that "treads on the uncharted territory that lies between contemporary art practices and environmental activism, thus redefining cultural norms about the objectives and potential instrumental values of contemporary art. Eco artists replace conventional art store supplies with living plants and microbes, mud and feathers, electronic transmissions and digital imagery, temperature and wind. Through artworks and artists working within the vast scope of environmental concerns. students learn about energy, waste, climate change, technology, sustainability, etc., as well as about creative ecological processes and the relationships between materials, tools, and ecosystems." They create installations/art that is displayed each year (this year they displayed art that focused on water issues).

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:

W&L offers pre-orientation for all incoming first year students. Two of the trips have sustainability as the main theme.

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:

W&L hosts a sustainability themed workshop in a series called "Life After College" where we educate juniors/seniors sustainable life skills once they are out on their own.

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.