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-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Jeff Spoelstra
Sustainability Coordinator
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Dr. Paul Clements public policy class "Political Science 6380: Planning Development Programs" partnered with the City of Kalamazoo in 2017 to produce a Climate Action Plan (CAP) focused on the city. This plan has led to the city pushing for a regularly updated GHG inventory and a renewed interest in achieving the goals outlined in the CAP produced by university partners.

See the plan in full here:

https://www.kalamazoocity.org/plans/2297-kalamazoo-climate-action-plan-volume-one-draft/file


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The following programs and associated activities are conducted using paid faculty time and university resources. They have been approved and endorsed by WMU which is evidence of implicit support from the highest levels.

WMU Professors and students participate in an annual "lobby day field trip" which takes students to the state capital where they lobby state senators and argue for smart, sustainable policy for Michigan. https://wmich.edu/arts-sciences/lobby-day

Students also participate and are members of the Michigan Environmental Council and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

WMU students can intern at the state capitol through the "Capital Intern Program."

The David G. Houghton Internship Endowment has been established to support the current internship program and expand its scope.

https://wmich.edu/government/capitolintern

http://www.mywmu.com/s/1428/gid2/index.aspx?sid=1428&gid=2&pgid=562


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The following programs and associated activities are conducted using paid faculty time and university resources. They have been approved and endorsed by WMU which is evidence of implicit support from the highest levels.

As a signatory on the Talloires Declaration and the ACUPCC, WMU advocates for and encourages sustainability efforts in all academic institutions, domestic and international.

Engaged local and regional business and political leaders in multiple "lunch-and-learns' centering around Solar PPAs and their potential in Michigan. Discussion also focused on local laws regarding solar and how to educate politicians on appropriate tech options.

Signatory to We Are Still In.
https://www.wearestillin.com/organization/western-michigan-university


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The WMU Office of Government Affairs (OGA) is the chief public policy advocacy arm for the university. That said, advocacy may occur elsewhere within the University consistent with specific academic disciplines of where the office may provide assistance for those advocacy efforts.

The Office of Government Affairs advocacy efforts are centered on securing state appropriations for the University and addressing public policy issues that arise in the state legislative process that can either benefit or harm the efficacy of the institution in meeting its principal directive of meeting the needs of its students. It does not undertake advocacy on behalf of the University on public policy issues that may have merit, but are not directly related to the institution.

The OGA is working on a funding that will allow the University to have a greater influence on sustainable groundwater management within Michigan. Two years ago the OGA worked to effect legislation that transferred the Michigan Geological Survey to WMU from state government. The office is working with the director of the Geological Survey, housed within the Department of Geosciences, to secure state and federal funding to support the Survey’s work to map groundwater resources to improve the accuracy and reliability of the state’s water withdrawal model.

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.