Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.11
Liaison Sarah Williams
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

Whitman College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Elissa Brown
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability, Physical Plant 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:
Whitman College has numerous student groups, with many focused on sustainability (environmental, social, and economic sustainability, justice, wellness, and more). A complete listing of Whitman's active student clubs and organizations, including links to their descriptions, can be found here: https://www.whitman.edu/campus-life/student-clubs-and-organizations

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 Whitman Organic Garden was created in 1997 by four students with the help of staff and faculty. We produce eggs and we grow a wide variety of annual and perennial vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The garden is also a space dedicated to spiritual renewal, meaningful labor, and community vitality. The Organic Garden is a place where students and community members can hangout, play with chickens, get dirty in the soil, and enjoy the process of creatively growing and eating food. Enjoy a nighttime walk to the garden, sit under the gazebo, pick some basil. The Organic Garden Student Club maintains the garden and organizes events to open the space up to everyone. During the school year, the garden is run by volunteers, and during the summer we hire interns to keep the garden going. In an effort to improve soil fertility, the Organic Garden often accepts contributions of food scraps from Whitman students and community members. In our simple but effective compost system, the Garden turns the contributed waste into rich soil used to grow more food. Open Gardens are periodic events when the garden is open to anyone and everyone who wants to be involved. All you have to do is show up!


It is the mission of the Whitman College Glean Team to raise awareness on issues pertaining to food insecurity in the Walla Walla area. We hope to engage the Whitman community as well as the greater Walla Walla community through harvesting and donating fresh produce to the Blue Mountain Action Council food distribution warehouse. BMAC then distributes the donated produce to the food banks within the Walla Walla area. In addition to encouraging participation on regular gleans throughout the harvest season, our mission will be accomplished through on campus film showcases, symposiums, and other events related to gleaning and food insecurity. This past season we harvest and donated over 39,000 pounds of produce that would have otherwise been wasted.


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:
The Whitman Organic Garden is a student-run enterprise that sells some of their produce to Bon Appetit - our foodservice provider. https://www.whitman.edu/campus-life/student-clubs-and-organizations/organic-garden

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 Whitman College Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) is a $50,000 line of credit designated for campus improvements that significantly benefit Whitman's sustainability efforts by conserving resources and improving efficiency. All loans are expected to generate savings that result in a 100% payback within three to ten years. Approximately $10,000 is available each year. The SRLF will be replenished through the savings accrued from the implementation of the project. Proposals will be reviewed by the SRLF Proposal Review Committee. The Treasurer's Office and the Campus Sustainability Coordinator manage the project review process and the fund. https://www.whitman.edu/campus-life/sustainability/resources/sustainable-revolving-loan-fund

ASWC Green Fund: The purpose and chief goal of the Green Fund shall be to transform student sustainability policy initiatives into realities that enrich the campus in practice and principle. Policies of the ASWC Senate and Finance Committee: The Finance Committee shall set criteria for approval of requests at the start of each year, and shall judge each request and make recommendations accordingly. Requests less than or equal to five hundred dollars ($500.00) shall require a majority vote of Finance Committee for approval. Requests greater than five hundred dollars ($500.00) but less than or equal to one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) shall require a majority vote of the Finance Committee and a majority vote of the Senate for approval. Requests greater than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) shall require a majority vote of the Finance Committee and a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Senate for approval. In the case that a request greater than $500 need approval sooner than the next senate meeting, the Executive Council may vote in place of the Senate. The request shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote from the Executive Council. http://goaswc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Green-Fund-Request-Form-GREEN.pdf

The Whitman Investment Company (WIC) is a student run, actively managed investment portfolio of over 1.3 million dollars. We aim to educate students in investment analysis and provide opportunities for students to purse careers in finance. Recently Whitman has decided to push for more sustainable investing by incorporating ESG analysis into the school's endowment investments. As a student run branch of the endowment, it is important to highlight ESG values within WIC’s educational process and investments. We have created a standardizing process that yields quantifiable ESG ratings. These ratings are then used in Cost of Capital adjustments, creating an ESG adjusted DCF which is weighted into our final valuation for companies we are analyzing. https://whitmanwic.blog/estimates/wic-models/

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:
Whitman College hosts a multitude of events and speakers focused on sustainability. One recent event was "Education for Sustainable Development: The Future Depends on Us!" Sponsored by the Sava and Danica Andjelkovic Endowed Lecture Series. The 2019-2020 Sava and Danica Andjelkovic Endowed Lecture Series is pleased to present Kim Smith, Ph.D., Whitman College graduate (1990), Portland Community College Sociology Instructor, and co-founder of the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN). Kim will highlight sustainability projects around the world, UNESCO’s ESD vision, and how we can all help create a sustainable future. Participants will be invited to explore how their efforts are contributing to transforming the world and how new pathways are emerging for us all to make a difference and be a part of the change. From issues of poverty and health to climate change and ocean conservation, these aspirational goals offer a vision for a sustainable future and depend on us all to reorient education toward equity, well-being, peace, and justice. To do so, the United Nations has established a new decade, beginning in 2020, focused on the power of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). "ESD for 2030" calls for new skills, empowered youth, increased public awareness and community partnerships.

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 Sheehan Gallery's 2019-2020 season included two exhibitions focused on indigenous art: "DREAMTIME: Contemporary Indigenous Art from the Australian Outback" and "GATHERING: Selected Prints from Crow's Shadow Institute of Arts"

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:
The Outdoor Program fosters personal growth, facilitates learning and creates recreational opportunities through skills and risk management training, leadership development, and environmentally sound trips in a supportive community. The Outdoor Program runs trips most weekends throughout the school year. These are open to all Whitman students. Trips include kayaking, hiking, climbing, rafting, skiing, snow-shoeing, ice climbing, and more. The trips are designed for beginner through advanced skill levels. The Rental Shop is the hub of the Outdoor Program where students and community members can rent or purchase equipment from the shop for personal use. The Rental Shop manages all of the equipment used on OP trips and classes. Scrambles are first-year trips that run each year right before freshman orientation. Scrambles are a week long and include hiking, climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking, and rafting. The Climbing Center is Whitman College's state of the art climbing wall. The wall is open to Whitman students, faculty, staff as well as their family members and guests. Classes and clinics take place at the climbing wall each week. The Outdoor Program also facilitates many of the Sports Studies and Recreation Activities (SSRA) classes on campus. We offer a variety of classes each semester, many of which include weekend trips to give students hands-on outdoor experience with their new skills. The Bob Carson Outdoor Fund was established in 2012 to help with some of the fees associated with the Outdoor Program's activities. Students can inquire at the OP rental shop for more information about his helpful resource. Whitman College Outdoor Program won The David J Webb Program Excellence Award in 2013, from the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE). The award honors an outstanding non-profit outdoor program which has provided dynamic and innovative services to its participants, demonstrated professionalism and high standards of conduct and contributed to the outdoor community at large by sharing information and assisting other programs.

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:
"Every first-year student starts their Whitman College experience in Encounters. A yearlong course that helps all students become familiar with the ways of thinking, analyzing and writing, Encounters provides the basis of a liberal arts education. The program is meant to level the playing field for students from a range of backgrounds and experiences. This year, Encounters features a refreshed curriculum and a new philosophy toward teaching the course in a more inclusive way... This year’s Encounters syllabus is the most diverse ever taught in the course’s 30-year history, said Kazi Joshua, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Readings focusing on the history and culture of Whitman and the Walla Walla area are combined with others emphasizing life experiences of a variety of different cultures and backgrounds, in place of Eurocentric texts. As the United States becomes increasingly diverse, Whitman’s curriculum must be kept up-to-date to reflect the diversity found on campus, creating an environment where students feel welcome, Joshua said. He wants students to be able to see themselves and their cultures in their studies."

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:
Established in 1981, the Environmental House, more commonly known as the “Outhouse,” has 6 bedrooms and comfortably houses an average of eight residents and one Resident Assistant. The Outhouse focuses on environmental and ecological issues by educating Whitman students about the environment.

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
Whitman's Office of Sustainability employs 3-4 Zero Waste Assistants to run the college's recycling program and a Bike Share Assistant to run the college's Bike Share program. Sustainability Assistant positions and internships are also available on an as-needed and project basis. The Whitman Internship Grant provides funding for internships at many external organizations that are sustainability-focused.

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):
Since 1987, the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility has been offered at colleges and universities throughout the world. The goal is to build a global community of responsible graduates improving society and the environment through the workplace. Whitman College seniors have been taking the pledge since 1999, when it was initiated by Deborah Winter and Dan Clark.

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:

Data source(s) and notes about 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.