Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.14
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Michigan University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Isaac Green
Special Projects Coordinator
Office for Sustainability
"---" 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 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 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:

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 gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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:

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.

https://wmich.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/thecampusbeet


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance 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 funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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 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 conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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 Office for Sustainability hosts a revolving student art gallery. Artwork must be related (but not limited to); sustainability, nature, environmental justice, waste, community, culture, ecology, innovation, biodiversity, recycling, agriculture, energy, climate change, etc.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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 Leaders Unplugged program consists of backpacking trips focused on personal exploration and leadership concepts. There is a weekend trip in the fall and a week-long trip in the spring.


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:

The Open Bike Shop 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 Bike Shop 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 programs is available (optional):
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 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 Handshake - WMU’s Career and Student Employment Service job database.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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 Center for Sustainable Business Practices is housed in the Haworth College of Business. This group works to infuse sustainability throughout the business colleges' curriculum.

The group also completes the PRME report, which helps schools compare their progress on education towards SDGs in the following way:

Working through Six Principles, PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.

https://wmich.edu/sustainablebusiness/prmereport

The groups current published goals include:

Continue to roll out BUS 4500: Business Ethics and Sustainability moving from one section to eight sections;

Identify and provide resources for faculty to help integrate sustainability topics into their courses and to support sustainability research;

Explore innovative opportunities to expose more faculty to sustainability initiatives;

Collaborate with colleagues across the University to promote a culture that embraces sustainability;

Continue to promote sustainability study abroad opportunities:

Promote greater use of service-learning in the Haworth College of Business.


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