Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.83
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date Jan. 9, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Kentucky University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Christian Ryan
Sustainability Coordinator
WKU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes No
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills No
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences No
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

WKU GreenToppers, founded in 2007, is a student organization focused on sustainability awareness and education on campus. GreenToppers' main event is the annual Earth Day Festival, which they began in 2007 and continue to plan and host in partnership with the Office of Sustainability.
Project Grow is a student group that focuses on sustainable food production. There are 6 Project Grow Fellows that maintain the community garden at the Office of Sustainability and conduct workshops and host work days. These students receive a small scholarship after one year of service, however their time is considered volunteer and they host many other student volunteers in the garden.
Both groups are student-governed.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Office of Sustainability hosts a community garden that Project Grow Fellows and any students, faculty, or staff that desire can use. The garden features sustainable gardening practices such as hugel culture, organic methods, seed saving, rainwater harvest and use for irrigation, permaculture, and other best practices. This project is largely student governed with advisement by the Sustainability Coordinator.
Additionally, the Office of Sustainability partners with other departments and local experts to connect students to off-campus volunteer opportunities to learn about sustainable gardening practices.
A faculty member in the GeoSciences Department is presently working with a group of students to create a food forest in the Bowling Green community.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
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A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

none


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
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A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

none


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Each year the Office of Sustainability partners with other campus departments to host guest speakers for Campus Sustainability Day, and for Earth Day. These events are highly publicized and intended for students, faculty, and staff (mostly geared for students). For example, we've hosted Design Futurist Natalia Allen, Living Lands and Waters founder Chad Pregracke, Celine Cousteau, and a variety of other speakers.
In 2009 and 2014 WKU hosted the regional higher education sustainability conference, which included (both times) tracks and summits especially for students. This year's conference featured a Green Career Panel that was very successful.
These events are not student-governed but do engage students in the planning and execution processes.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
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A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The WKU Sustainability Coordinator is a curator for the Lexicon of Sustainability Pop Up show, which features beautiful images and words regarding various elements of the sustainable food system. The Pop Up show has been curated twice on main campus in 2014 and also at several regional campuses.
In early 2014 Office of Sustainability student interns hosted a student musician "unplugged" concert, as well as an open mic night with sustainability theme.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
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A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The WKU Outdoor Recreation and Activities Center (ORAC) offers guided camping trips, floats, and other outdoor activities. All emphasize Leave No Trace and are student governed under the advisement of Intramural Recreational Sports. ORAC also maintains a challenge course and offers equipment rental and bicycle maintenance for fee.
Leave No Trace is also a significant element of many of WKU's Recreation courses.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the theme is available:
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A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Project Grow, under the advisement of the Office of Sustainability, offers sustainable life skills workshops such as organic and sustainable gardening and local healthy food cooking. These are entire student planned and executed.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

Student engagement is a primary focus in all university efforts related to sustainability, with the idea that involving students in these initiatives in a practical and applied way prepares them for such efforts in their professional capacities. The Office of Sustainability offers student employment, internships, and for-credit projects.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
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A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Each year the Office of Sustainability partners with Housing and Residence Life on the Campus Conservation Nationals competition. This program includes activities and education that promote awareness regarding energy conservation and efficiency.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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