Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.15
Liaison Ashley Woolman
Submission Date April 8, 2022

STARS v2.2

Western Colorado University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ashley Woolman
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

LEAD Sustainability, students hired by the university to work on sustainability specific projects. LEAD Sustainability manages the Freecycle program, the Rocket Composter, hosts Earth Day celebrations, and provides education and outreach on environmental issues like recycling.

Sustainability Action Committee, a committee of faculty, staff, and students that oversee larger infrastructure projects, sustainability funding mechanisms, and campus-wide outreach and education efforts.

Organics Guild (OG), a food-focused student interest group that provides access to free student produce, hosts internships, positions, volunteer opportunities, and workshops to help students gain gardening experience.

GreenFaith, a new student club which will focus on tying the spiritual aspect of people’s lives to the environment, facilitating open discussions and providing space for people to engage with each other around faith.

Sustainability Coalition, recently revived student club focusing its efforts on environmental education and kickstarting in-dorm composting efforts.

Western Solar Society: solar education and implementation group that completes projects like solarizing Habitat for Humanity houses, installing trial solar-powered lights on campus, and analyzing Kelley Hall solar energy efficiency monitoring.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The student-run Organics Guild is in charge of running the campus greenhouse and garden. The club sells fresh produce at the weekly summer/fall local farmers market in Gunnison and contracts with Sodexo to sell fresh herbs and greens. The Organics Guild also partners with two local farms: Thistle Whistle Far and Calder Farm to provide a CSA to Western students, faculty, and staff.


Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

See above - the Organics Guild sells fresh produce at the local farmers market and offers a CSA in partnership with two local farms: Thistle Whistle Far and Calder Farm.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

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

The Renewable Energy Fund is used for Western to invest in renewable energy initiatives. Initially these funds were used to purchase renewable energy credits, though it has now generated a reserve large enough so that it Western can invest in solar. The fee is optional for undergraduates ($15/semester) and it generates approximately $15,000 per year.

The Sustainability Fund provides Western students access to the financial resources needed to initiate projects that meet one or more of the following goals: support Western’s use of more sustainable and renewable energy,
reduce unnecessary consumption of goods, increase reuse of usable goods and recycling of materials, promote the ethical stewardship of all resources and land on the Western Colorado University campus, and/or actively address issues of environmental justice. Full-time students are assessed $5.75/semester for campus sustainability. The revenue generated from this fee is approximately $18,000 per academic year.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

The Clark Family School of Environment & Sustainability hosts many events throughout the year for students including: Headwaters Conference, Fall Forum, Spring Symposium, Master in Environmental Management Forum, International Mountain Day, and many speaker series.

The LEAD Sustainability club puts on multiple events throughout the year including the Sustainable Film Series and Earth Week.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

The fall Headwaters Conference, which is sustainability-themed always includes arts (e.g., poetry, music, prose, visual arts) as part of programming. Earth Week also includes various arts (visual, music).

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Wilderness Pursuits, a student-led outdoor recreation club offers gear rentals, workshops, and trips that adhere and teach LNT principles.

The Recreation and Outdoor Education academic program - Outdoor Leadership & Outdoor Environmental Education emphases require Leave No Trace Master Educator certificate and all field-based courses adhere to LNT principles.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Headwaters 100 - First Year Seminar place-based education, service projects, etc.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The LEAD Sustainability Coordinators' educational programming (e.g., residence life curriculum, club fairs, energy and recycling campaigns)

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

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

The LEAD Sustainability Coordinators - addressed in previous sections
The Recycling Crew (through the Facilities department)
Fellowships for graduate students researching sustainability topics
Teaching Assistant positions are offered for sustainability courses

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):


A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.