Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.15
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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 active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Student Government Association created a sustainability committee (EcoTops) in 2015. This group provides leadership in identifying need for and the implementation of positive change in campus policy and practice, and peer to peer education regarding these efforts.
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.
All three groups are student-governed.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects 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 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.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

WKU Enactus is a highly engaged team of students supported by the WKU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Enactus is "a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world."


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have 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

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

none


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

The Office of Sustainability hosts speakers for special events, such as Campus Sustainability Day and Earth Day. Additionally, the Office hosted a speaker series in the Fall of 2016 featuring a different local farmer each Friday for four consecutive Fridays. The Farmer Friday series was so successful that it will be a regular fall tradition.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

The WKU Cultural Enhancement Series (CES) provides the campus and community the opportunity to meet some of the nation’s most influential artists and intellectuals. The goal of the series is to challenge our audiences, to expose them to new ideas, and give them new perspectives on our world. Attendance is free and open to all and students are encouraged to attend through a variety of incentives.
Cultural Enhancement events have featured such individuals as Joel Sartore in 2016, and in previous years Celine Cousteau, Jeff Corwin, Bill Nye, and others.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs 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 programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs 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 programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

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 opportunities is available:
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Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Office of Sustainability partners with Housing and Residence Life, the Student Wellness program, and Dining Services on programs that educate students about ways that they can reduce their personal as well as the university's environmental impact. These include topics such as energy conservation, local and healthy food, and waste reduction.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.