Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.46
Liaison Bradley Flamm
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Bradley Flamm
Director of Sustainability
Office of the President
"---" 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:

EARTH (Environmental Association for the Repair of The Habitat) - one of WCU's student environmental organization - has since 1970 worked to develop campus and community awareness of the environment and each person's responsibility to protect it. Initiatives such as the annual Earth Day Festival, collaboration with the Sustainability Council, articles in West Chester University's student newspaper, the Quad, and visits to other student groups are among EARTH's activities.
Other sustainability-related student organizations include Students for Sustainable Action, Sustainable Living Yoga Club, Food Recovery Network, Veg Out, Net Impact Club, Slow Food Club, Geography and Planning Club, and the Outdoor Club (see https://www.wcupa.edu/Sustainability/getinvolved.aspx for more information).

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 North Campus Outdoor Classroom was dedicated April 21, 2009. The North Campus Garden was established May 2010 by students in the course entitled Science, Technology & Environmental Systems (ST&E, Hon 314). It was expanded first in August 2010 by Education for Sustainability: Methods & Projects (EDO 450/550) and again in March 2011 by ST&E. A South Campus garden was established in 2015 and the year after an additional campus garden was created at the University President's residence, Tanglewood. In 2019, an organic Natural Pigments and Dyes Garden was added to the campus. All of these gardens are managed by student interns supervised by faculty advisors and serve as campus learning laboratory facilities for dozens of courses. See https://www.wcupa.edu/campusGardens/default.aspx.

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:

WCU hosts a variety of events during both semesters of each academic year. Events include speakers, symposia, free trade coffee sampling and more. In the Fall of 2017 a Sustainability Research and Practice Seminar with weekly Wednesday lunch-hour lectures by WCU faculty conducting research on topics related to sustainability was established and has continued to the Spring 2019 semester. A monthly film and lecture series was established at the same time. All of these events are open to and intended for students, university employees, and community members. See the calendar on the Office of Sustainability's homepage: https://www.wcupa.edu/Sustainability/default.aspx.

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:

From October 3, 2019 to November 1, 2019, faculty and students who participated in a 2-week Summer 2019 study abroad trip to Copenhagen, Denmark presented an exhibit entitled "Copenhagen: Sustainable by Design" in West Chester University's Knauer Gallery in the Swope School of Music and Performing Arts Center.
Three faculty members from WCU's Theater and Dance Department, working with students and community volunteers, have created a dance and theater event entitled "Carnival of Ruin" to address the environmental and social impacts of plastic waste. Performances have been held in the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters and will continue into the summer of 2020. See https://www.carnivalofruin.com/.

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:

West Chester University's Outdoor Adventure Pursuits organizes excursions (from one-day to multi-day) for students to participate in backpacking, whitewater rafting, skiing, and other outdoor activities. WCU's OAP is an Active Partner with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (see https://lnt.org/partnership/community-partnership/educational/).

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:

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

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

The Office of Sustainability, the Student Affairs Division, and WCU's Student Wellness program all hire students to work on projects that support WCU's commitment to environmental, economic, and social sustainability. For students seeking sustainability-related employment and internship opportunities, the university's Twardowski Career Center provides an online platform (Handshake) that facilitates keyword searches for environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

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:

West Chester University's Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs categorizes volunteer opportunities and includes an Environment & Sustainability option (https://www.wcupa.edu/_services/stu.slv/forms/directory/default.aspx).

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.