Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Michigan University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Jeff Spoelstra
Sustainability Coordinator
Office for Sustainability
"---" 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 Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
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 No
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
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 No

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

The WMU Clean Water Project is a student organization dedicated to fundraising and advocating for every human's right to clean water around the world.

BioClub - WMU Biology Club is a great way for students to meet professors and other students who share similar interest in the biological sciences. This club promotes study in the field of biology through campus and community involvement.

Students for a Sustainable Earth - The goal and mission of SSE to promote attitudes and behaviors on campus and in the wider Kalamazoo community that are environmentally and culturally sustainable. To accomplish this goal, SSE employs a variety of tactics including events, campaigns, and projects.


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:

A) The Stadium Drive Community Garden is a 15,000 square foot garden operated by Western Michigan University. Garden plots are available to the campus community and the public. Community garden participants are encouraged to plant a row for the hungry and donate their extra produce to local food banks. In 2011, the Student Garden Organization partnered with nearby campus-owned Stadium Drive apartments so residents could co-manage the community garden. In 2012, the garden transitioned from a student project into a project of the Office for Sustainability. In both 2012 and 2013, the garden increased in size to accommodate the growing interest in growing on campus! After two years of management, the Office for Sustainability passed stewardship responsibilities to Students for a Sustainable Earth and the BioClub. (Student Governed)

B) WMU also has a Student Farm, or Production Garden, that has been operated at the Gibbs House and more recently adjacent to the Community Garden. A variety of heirloom and organic vegetables are cultivated and distributed through catering events, cooking classes (WMU Dietetics and Catering Services), and free giveaways to the campus community. The farm serves as a living laboratory for research on sustainable food systems, ecology, biology, composting, and permaculture. Campus and community groups may book educational tours or volunteer on the farm from early spring through late fall. (Student Governed)


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

The Campus Beet, is a sustainable campus lunch that features vegetarian and vegan meals for the campus community. In its current location at the Wesley Center the Beet offers a cafe' atmosphere and sometimes features live music.


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

WMU students pay a student sustainability fee, which funds annual Student Sustainability Grants. Up to $75,000 is available to fund student-authored proposals which promote a campus culture of sustainability and have the potential to benefit all WMU students. The SSG Allocations Committee is 100% student led and includes representatives from all academic colleges and both undergraduate and graduate students. (Student Governed)


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

The Office for Sustainability is a gathering place for information about campus and community opportunities for sustainability education. Any campus speakers, seminars, or events connected to sustainability are posted on the home page. Campus offices, departments, and student groups often collaborate to support and promote sustainability activities.

Students at the Office for Sustainability coordinate WMU’s annual National Campus Sustainability Day, which over the past three years has showcased a variety of free events such as a community roundtable discussions, expert speakers, and campus tours. (Student Governed)

Student groups led by Office for Sustainability collaborate to host an annual SustainabiliBASH at the end of each academic year. The BASH is a celebration of campus and community sustainability efforts, skill sharing, music, and activism. (Student Governed)


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

Spare Change - the Art of Climate (2013) was a juried, student art exhibit guided by the following:

"Climate change is the immersive, lasting statistical distribution of weather exceeding average norms over given time brackets from millions of years to decades -caused naturally and by human-specific impacts."


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:
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The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The First Year Seminar video contest is a collaboration between the Office for Sustainability and First Year Experience that offers incoming students an alternative research project. Since Fall 2011, students have worked to create over 50 videos focusing on campus sustainability topics. Students have the opportunity to learn basic research methods, gain knowledge of sustainability on campus, advance their video production and communications skills, have fun, and spread the word about WMU’s sustainability achievements. Videos may range from 2-3 minutes and students formally script, storyboard, shoot, and edit their videos with support from section instructors.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Bike Stable is a clearinghouse for non-motorized transportation education, advocacy, and policy efforts. It leads workshops, group rides, guided tours, weekly open shop nights, and research. The Stable is run by students with the Office for Sustainability. (Student Governed)

Gibbs House Fellowships provide a year-long residential fellowship for students who want a more seamless sustainability experience with their education. Fellows participate in leadership and discovery-driven learning opportunities and are paid to research and work on campus sustainability projects and policies. Fellows live in the 150 year old Gibbs House across from Asylum Lake, which also serves as a community sustainability resource center.


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

The Office for Sustainability offers an average of 20 student "Green Jobs" a semester. These paid positions include part-time positions at the Office for Sustainability, Wesustain Internships, Gibbs House Fellowships, and graduate assistantships. The Green Jobs are funded by the student Sustainability Fee, and additional students are hired from a facilities operation fund to work on waste reduction and recycling efforts. All jobs are promoted on Bronco Jobs - WMU’s Career and Student Employment Service job database.


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