|Submission Date||March 1, 2019|
Western Washington University
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:
WWU hosts a number of sustainability-focused student groups including:
Western’s Environmental & Sustainability Programs (ESP) is the umbrella organization for all of the above listed sustainability-focused groups on campus. The collective purpose of ESP is first and foremost to create and sustain collaborative dialogue, concepts, and applicable ideas that work to contribute toward positive resolutions for environmental issues. In addition to sustaining dialogue, ESP is invested in promotional events and publications that inspire new contributions from the student body and actively engage a diverse audience. Together the whole ESP works to keep the environmentally-conscious conversation growing on campus and empower students to add their voices to the fray, all working together for a sustainable present and future.
Students for Renewable Energy -Students for Renewable Energy takes action to move beyond fossil fuels in a just transition toward sustainable energy systems by engaging the community through education and advocacy for climate justice.
Students for Sustainable Food - WWU students dedicated to bringing awareness, education and viable food alternatives to campus.
Students for Sustainable Water - Students for Sustainable Water is a club dedicated to educating campus and community about a variety of social and environmental issues related to water sustainability, both globally and locally, including international human rights, corporate ownership of water, the health of local watershed, and the impact of bottled water.
Net Impact Group - Net Impact, the national organization, is a nonprofit that empowers students to use their careers to generate positive environmental change in the workplace and the world. Our undergraduate student chapter was founded in early 2015 and is comprised of passionate students dedicated to challenging the status quo and encouraging the integration of business and sustainability.
LEAD – Learning, Environment, Action and Discovery, LEAD seeks to provide service-learning opportunities in order to educate about the importance of preserving and restoring Whatcom County’s native biodiversity through the coordination of hands-on volunteer efforts.
Western Wilderness Trail Corps - group of students interested in having a positive impact on local wilderness areas through lending a hand in local trail maintenance efforts.
Residents’ Resource Awareness Program (Eco Reps) is a program run independently of ESP.
ResRAP is a peer-to-peer environmental education program that works to cultivate a culture of sustainability that persists beyond students’ time in the on-campus residence halls. Created in 2007, the program is now led by two student staff who work with 6 program interns (Lead Eco Reps), and 20 Eco Reps. Students receive one credit of upper-division environmental studies for attending a class led by ResRAP Staff, a regional meeting facilitated by Lead Eco Reps and their community’s hall council. These interactions create a space for Eco Reps to build leadership skills and practical knowledge of sustainability to design and host high quality educational events for their residents.
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?:
A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:
Western provides four opportunities: The Outback Farm, Viking Supported Agriculture and our international program: Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy.
Western’ Outback Farm is an organic gardening and sustainable living program that receives support from Fairhaven College, the Associated Students, and the student body. The Outback Farm is a five acre student-run site at the south end of Fairhaven College that teaches, develops, and implements sustainable growing and land use methods.
Viking Supported Agriculture (VSA) is Western's Community Supported Agriculture program, bringing students, staff, and faculty in contact with Whatcom/Skagit County produce and producers. By signing up, students receive a box of local, fresh, organic fruits and veggies every week outside of Carver Gym.
The VSA program is a program of the Office of Sustainability and was initiated through a Whatcom Community Foundation grant to help our community support sustainable local agriculture and make nutritious food available to members of the Western community. The VSA program supports Growing Washington and Alm Hill Gardens, located in Everson 25 minutes northeast of Bellingham.
Ecogastronomy and Food Cultures of Italy begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study the Italian Slow Food movement and sustainable, heritage food cultures. Students also study in the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department, with the renowned gastronomy scientists, Caterina Dinella and Erminio Monteleone. Italian family home stays, countryside excursions, cultural tours, and hikes.
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)?:
A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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?:
A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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?:
A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:
Below is several of many Sustainability Speaker events hosted at WWU:
Ethics and Social Responsibility Speaker Series
The Ethics & Social Responsibility Executive Speaker Series brings to campus senior business leaders to interact with students and share their perspectives on the role of business ethics and social responsibility.
These lectures link the academic with the practical. Students learn about real ethical dilemmas and how organizational leaders attempt to create environments with high moral standards, as well as social responsibility and how organizational leaders incorporate such considerations into business decisions.
Huxley College Speaker Series
The Huxley College Speaker Series brings guest lecturers to the WWU campus to address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and beyond, and is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Typically the series focuses around a general theme or themes, but each speaker addresses a particular angle or subtopic.
For 2016-17, the themes for the Speaker Series are conservation: biodiversity, wildlife conservation, community resilience, and transportation planning, to name a few of the topics this year's speakers will address.
The lectures are free and open to the public.
Local Impact Northwest Conference
The first annual Local Impact NW Conference was hosted by the Net Impact group on February 27th, 2016. Local Impact ’16 had a mission to bring students, professionals, and community members together to inspire individual and community action. The conference instilled a sense of strength and urgency for individuals to act now by providing eight action-oriented workshops, two inspiring keynote speakers, and one thought-provoking panel discussion, with two nights of exclusive networking with sustainability business professionals and students.
Women of Color Speak Out
Women of Color Speak Out is a collective of Seattle activists working to educate and inform communities on the climate crisis.
In the speaker event on February 2nd, the group explored capitalism, colonialism, racism and the prison industrial complex and how they lead into climate change, which impacts mostly people of color, poor people, and especially poor women of color. Touching on subjects such as war, corporations, banks, slavery, private prisons, and white supremacy, they inspired students to take action against climate change not only to save the environment, but also to save the affected communities.
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?:
A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:
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?:
A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
WWU has an extensive outdoor program headquartered at the Outdoor Center (OC). The OC offers many trips, services, and opportunities for students to get involved in outdoor experiential learning and practice strategies for effective “Leave No Trace” ethics. The Center’s events include skiing, ice climbing, kayaking trips, and classes on bike and equipment repair. Other services include rentals, safety presentations, and free maps.
Western Outdoor Orientation Trips (WOOT):
WOOT provides a unique opportunity for incoming Western students to spend a week backpacking and exploring the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest with a group of fellow students prior to the beginning of their first quarter here at WWU. Harnessing the transformative power of the outdoors, WOOT offers an enhanced orientation experience in which students forge friendships, learn backcountry skills, gain mentors, and make incredible memories. WOOT leads to stronger and more meaningful connections that can contribute to an impactful and fulfilling Western Experience, boosting student’s academic success.
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)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
“Western Reads” is a campus-wide reading program sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs that is designed to promote intellectual engagement, a greater sense of community, and generate conversation within the student body as a whole. In 2015, as part of the “Western Reads” program, Western distributed Do It Anyway by Courtney E. Martin to all incoming freshmen. Do It Anyway explores the lives and motivations of eight activists–not superhuman heroes, but ordinary young people searching for their own way to make a difference. In direct opposition to an older generation’s cry that young people are apathetic and disengaged, Do It Anyway introduces a new generation of social and environmental activist. The text was subsequently incorporated into curriculum for multiple courses across campus.
The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
SEED – Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm was a model room residence in Buchanan Towers which was showcasing modern sustainability practices by demonstrating ways to cut energy and water consumption in one’s daily living. In 2013, the room went through alterations, including: Installation of LED lighting, Replacement of the refrigerator with an Energy Star energy efficient refrigerator, Installation of low flow faucets and toilet, Shower flow meter, Energy meters, Plug load meters. Along with the modifications, the occupants in the room recorded the electrical and water usage, and were trained on educating any visiting students about the SEEDs room. Although the pilot program has expired, efforts are currently taken to adopt SEED as a permanent project, and further to expand the scale to all residence halls.
The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The Office of Sustainability, the Associated Students Environmental and Sustainability Programs & the Associated Students Recycle Center hires many students each year to fill staff positions.
Student positions in the Office of Sustainability include:
Sustainable Office Certification Program Assistant
Zero Waste Western Coordinator
Zero Waste Western Assistant
Residents' Resource Awareness Coordinator
Residents' Resource Awareness Program Assistant
Sustainable Action Fund Outreach Coordinator
AS Sustainable Action Fund Education Coordinator
EcoRep Leads (6)
Student positions in the Associated Students Environmental and Sustainability Programs include:
ESP Associate Director
Environmental Center Coordinator
Outback Farm Coordinator
Sustainable Transportation Coordinator
Student positions in the Associated Students Environmental and Sustainability Programs include:
Recycling Assistants (4)
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?:
A brief description of the graduation pledges:
TThe voluntary pledge encourages students to make choices about their employment, showcases effort as a school in educating values and citizenship within the workplace, and brings forth a sense of direction illustrating that society should be concerned about more than just the bottom line of material success.
The voluntary pledge encourages students to make choices about their employment, showcases effort as a school in educating values and citizenship within the workplace, and brings forth a sense of direction illustrating that society should be concerned about more than just the bottom line of material success.
The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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):
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.