Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.44
Liaison Bradley Flamm
Submission Date March 4, 2022

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?:
Yes

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

Sustainability-related student organizations include:

Students for Sustainable Action: The purpose of SSA is to encourage all students to participate in campus-wide sustainability efforts by providing a student-centered environment for discussion and collaboration. By bringing different student organizations together to collaborate, divide, and conquer on projects, we can achieve the common goal of advancing sustainability at WCU.

Sustainable Living Yoga Club: SLYC members are dedicated to empowering students on and off the mat in keeping each other and the environment safe, respected, and heard. We are healthy for wellness.

Food Recovery Network: The purpose of this organization is to help reduce food waste on campus by recovering food waste and distributing the surplus to local community partners that address food insecurity within West Chester and Chester County.

Veg Out: West Chester University club raising awareness about plant-based nutrition, environmental sustainability and animal rights. Events include Focus Groups, Guest Speakers, Presentations, Food Socials, Event nights (Movie, Yoga, etc) and so much more!

Slow Food Club: Slow Food at WCU advocates the ideas of the Slow Food Movement of “Good, Clean, and Fair.” From supporting local vendors to growing their own produce, they promote food that is healthy, sustainable, and ethical.

Geography and Planning Club: The Geography and Planning Club provides academic and professional opportunities to establish social contacts with others interested in the field of Geography and provides a mean for the organization to host fun outings related to the field of Geography.

Women in Business: As an academic club, we hope to help members develop professionally and cultivate connections. Each member will learn the importance of leadership, community service, networking, and professional development. By engaging women, we hope to empower, elevate, and promote students to build their best success story.

Minorities in Medicine: The purpose of this organization is to support pre-health students at West Chester University and other institutions, by providing them with the tools necessary to successfully complete their undergraduate education, and apply to professional school. General body meetings are used to foster a close-knit diverse student pre-health community, bring in medical school students and faculty, West Chester University faculty, health professionals, and representatives from various test preparation companies, such as the Princeton Review and Kaplan. All of these speakers are brought in to help guide our pre-health members to the successful completion of their undergraduate education, and matriculation into their desired professional school.

Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity of Chester County's goals are summarized by their formal mission statement which reads: "...Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope." This is a service organization that divides our efforts between fundraising, conducting local community service projects, participating in builds, and much more!

Association for Women’s Empowerment: The Association for Women’s Empowerment is an organization that serves the student population as a support, discussion, action, and education organization. Our purpose is to inform the student population about women’s issues and related topics.

WCU National Council of Negro Women (NCNW): Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families and communities.

(see https://www.wcupa.edu/_services/stu/ramseyeview/studentOrgs.aspx and https://ramconnect.wcupa.edu/club_signup 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?:
Yes

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?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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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:

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 2022 semester (going virtual during the year and a half of the COVID-19 campus shutdown). 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?:
Yes

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 were held in the summer of 2020 and in Fall 2021. See https://www.carnivalofruin.com/.


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:

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/). OAP activities were put on pause between March 2020 and the summer of 2021, because of COVID-19 restrictions, but were relaunched during the Fall of 2021.


Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
No

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

Plans to implement a sustainability-themed living - learning community on a floor of Goshen Hall, one of WCU's North Campus Residence Halls, were on track to be implemented in the Fall of 2020, but were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown of campus that extended through the summer of 2021. Though the community has not been established as planned in Academic Year 2021-22, Dining and Resident Services hopes to initiate the program in the Fall of 2022.


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 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 at https://wcupa.joinhandshake.com/login) that facilitates keyword searches for environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Such opportunities are also publicized in the Office of Sustainability's weekly email bulletin (an archive of the bulletin can be found at https://www.wcupa.edu/sustainability).


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:

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/civicEngagementSocialImpact/directory.aspx)


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data collected predominantly from WCU Sustainability homepage, RamConnect, and Division of Student Affairs.

Data Entry: Lois Howell, 17-Dec-21, 2-Feb-22

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.