|Overall Rating||Silver - expired|
|Submission Date||Dec. 20, 2013|
Wilfrid Laurier University
EN-3: Student Life
|1.75 / 2.00||
Manager: Sustainability Office
Facilities and Asset Management
Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
|Yes or No|
|Active student groups focused on sustainability||Yes|
|Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems||Yes|
|Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes||Yes|
|Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills||No|
|Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience||Yes|
|Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience||Yes|
|Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles||Yes|
|Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences||No|
|Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills||No|
|Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution||Yes|
|Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions||No|
|Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives||No|
The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:
The Ecohawks work to raise awareness of environmental issues, promote sustainable living and encourage the reduction of individuals' ecological footprints. They hold a number of events including Lug-a-Mug which encourages the use of reusable travel mugs, Out-of-the-Bottle which encourages the use of reusable water bottles, they host school wide events for Earth Hour, a "Green Store" at Christmas which features sustainable vendors, they host a sustainability advocacy campaign, and promote the use of Laurier's reusable take out container.
The Sustainability Council is comprised of first year students from across campus that aim to unify Residence Life and the Sustainability Office through creating integrated programming and providing increased access to campus resources. Students involved in this council collaborate on planning, promoting, and executing residence wide events and programming that enable the first year community to engage in sustainable activities and learn about their environmental impact. Events include the Building Dashboard Residence Energy Competition, Eco-Pong, Waste Education campaigns, a Stuff Swap, and more.
WLU Farm Market
The Farm Market operates once a week in the main student center on campus. It provides students with an opportunity to purchase local, organic, fair-trade, and sustainably produces food including vegetables, fruits, and baked goods.
Graduate Student Association Sustainability Committee
The GSA Sustainability Committee oversees plans and carries out tasks related to sustainability and the Wilfrid Laurier Graduate Students Association operation.
Net Impact is an international non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, educate and equip individuals with the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Events include hosting socially and environmentally responsible guest speakers, a coffee cup challenge, trips to visit companies and businesses whose operations are based on the triple bottom line.
Enactus is a global non-profit organization that uses programs to aid the Laurier community as well as the community of Kitchener-Waterloo, with a special committee dedicated to sustainability and environmental initiatives. A few of their events include a clothing and item swap, a Go Green Blitz, a project to create notepads out of paper that has only been used on one side and more.
Aboriginal Student Association
The ASA will provide Aboriginal students academic and personal support throughout their years at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus. Also, the ASA will provide Aboriginal students a place to come together and celebrate their heritage while also educating the general public.
The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:
An Aboriginal Community Garden, Mino-Kummik Garedn, has been created at the Waterloo campus, located at the WLU Aboriginal Student Center. This organically grown and maintained garden provides:
-students with the experience of growing their own food
-growing of the four sacred medicine plants to assist with smudging ceremonies
-growing vegetables for weekly soup days which provide inexpensive and healthy community meals at that Aboriginal Student House
-sharing of indigenous plant knowledge and methodology
-community partnering with environmental organizations to further its use
-the hosting of workshops teaching organic gardening techniques to students and community members
The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:
The WLU Farm Market operates weekly during the school year to provide students with an opportunity to purchase local, organic, fair-trade, and sustainably produced food including vegetables, fruits, and baked goods.
The Farm Market provides valuable business skills to its members and volunteers. It allows students to gain customer experience skills while developing knowledge of the sales process. This includes identifying the needs of customers (students), satisfying those needs, and providing feedback to the executive team through customer interactions. Additionally, volunteers assist with determining inventory levels, setting prices for products, and merchandising the product offering to attract more sales. Furthermore, as an executive in charge of the Farmers' Market, the individual requires strong knowledge of supply chain and consumer demand. Each week, the executive team examines the sales of each offering and adapts the order for the following week. Additionally, the executives liaise with the Coordinator and the WLUSU Management Team, managing and handling the cash flow required and obtained from the Farmers' Market operations.
The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:
Laurier has hosted guest speakers as well as a speaker series related to sustainability where students are the intended audience.
David Suzuki & Jeff Rubin
In October of 2012 David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin brought their Eco Tour to Laurier, to discuss the importance of learning to live within nature's boundaries and what sustainability means for our economy. It drew in a sold out crowd, where the audience had the chance to ask questions, and discuss issues with the two Canadian speakers.
Sustainability Speaker Series
In March of 2012, Laurier hosted the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots for an information session and speaker series on the importance of pollination in the Waterloo Region and what we can do to help. Community groups kicked off the event with information booths and a chance to discuss, and was followed by the speaker series at the Laurier campus which was open to students and members of the community. Community groups included :
- Wilfrid Laurier University’s Sustainability Office
- Transition KW
- Seeds of Diversity
- University of Waterloo Sustainability Project – Otesha
- Native Plant Source
- Nith River Native Plants
- The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada
The following guest speakers/organizations attended to share their knowledge and spark conversation and discussion:
- Dr. Brenden Larson (University of Waterloo) - “The sex lives of plants in Ontario”
- Resilient Communities (Transition KW)
- Ecologist Jeff Thompson from Native Plant Source
- Pfennings Organic Farm
- Angie Koch from Fertile Ground CSA
- Nith River Native Plants
- Wildlife Gardening
- Jane Goodall Institute of Canada
The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:
The Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG) employs community collaboration, research, and education, in order to provide opportunities for those at Laurier and the local community, to be agents of social change, in pursuit of a just world, such as Yoga in the community garden.
The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:
Laurier Naturalists are a campus club which aims to get people thinking about the outdoors and providing opportunities for students to learn about and spend time with nature. Due to logistics, funding and transportation issues, the club does not currently offer any kayaking or backpacking opportunities. We do however, organize local hikes giving students a chance to get outdoors and learn about the natural world. Other events include bringing in guest speakers from various outdoor fields as well as organizing activities and educational booths open to any and all interested students. Because we have not had the resources to do overnight outings or large excursions we have never needed to use leave no trace principals however, our events on campus have never caused any sort of environmental impact. Our events generally occur every few weeks however this is gradually increasing with a growing exec team. Some examples of Laurier Naturalist events include biodiversity fairs, movie nights and guest lectures.
The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:
Employment opportunities with the Sustainability Office. One focuses on the Sustainability Council program in residence, another is for general projects out of the Office at our Waterloo campus and the last is for the Brantford campus.
The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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