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Report Card 2010

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Columbia University

Student Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, more than 1,100 school survey responses from over 300 institutions are now available online. In total, these surveys offer more than 10,000 pages of data collected from colleges and universities during the summer of 2009 . To access surveys from other schools, go to the  surveys section  of the website. To see grades, or to access additional surveys submitted by this school, please click the "Back to Report Card" link at the beginning or end of the survey.


Name : Hannah Perls

Position (in student organization): Coordinator

Date survey submitted : 7.13.09



1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.

Name of organization: Green Umbrella

Number of active members: 5 executive board members

Website: www.cugreenumbrella.com

Date of last meeting: 5.09 (Spring semester 2009)

Frequency of meetings: weekly

Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: greater coordination and communication among the undergraduate environmental groups

Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008: Student Government Sustainability Pledge, 4-Pronged Campaign on waste, energy, food and water for student sustainability practices, new student sustainability special interest house (“Greenborough”), new website, induction of two new student organizations into the Umbrella, new recycling center in the student life building, the first annual retreat for environmental campus leaders (to be held in Fall ’09), new single-sided printing center for reclaimed paper, “Greenspiration”: a 10-day initiative to connect environmental issues with political, religious, cultural and social interests ( www.cugreenspiration.com )



2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?

[   ]   No

[X]   Yes. Please list details for each competition.

#1 - Name of competition: Recyclemania

Year initiated: 2007

Frequency of competition: yearly

Participants: Undergraduate schools and Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory


Goal of competition: Increase percentage of  

Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: NA

Lasting effects of competition: Greater availability of recycling facilities on campus, increased student awareness of environmental issues and impact of individual waste



#2 - Name of competition: Energy Challenge

Year initiated: 2007

Frequency of competition: Yearly

Participants: Freshmen Dorms (~800 students)

Incentives: Reduce energy through weekly goals and the best dorm wins prizes

Goal of competition: Teach freshmen the importance of energy conservation and reduced energy living

Percent of energy reduced: N/a

Lasting effects of competition: Freshman garner understanding of energy sustainability

Website: n/a



3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?

[   ]   No

[X]   Yes. Please describe: All student groups under the Student Governing Board (SGB) are encouraged via a pledge to make each event more environmentally responsible by addressing waste and energy use. Each group’s annual budget is affected by their commitment to this pledge



4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:   (see Question #1 above)


5) Please list and briefly describe any other student-run organizations related to campus sustainability at your school, and provide URLs if available (e.g., student groups; student government committees; student-run food co-ops, gardens/farms, bike co-ops) and provide contact information of the student leaders, if possible:   The following are members of the Green Umbrella:

  • Columbia Eco Reps
  • Barnard Eco Reps 
  • Eco Reps serve as Environmental RAs on campus, aiming to make student behaviors more environmentally friendly through awareness and programming
  • CU Environmental Biology Society (educational group focusing on biodiversity and ecology education)
  • Students for Environmental and Economic Justice
  • Consilience (student-run online journal for sustainable development: http://consiliencejournal.readux.org/ )
  • Food Sustainability Project helps run the on campus garden as well as an off-campus garden in a Harlem housing development; runs campus CSA with upstate NY farms
  • Core Foods (food co-op)
  • Engineers Without Borders ( http://www.cuewb.org/ - international aid organization which takes students to India and Africa to provide aid to local villages; currently working on providing cleaner, more efficient stoves to rural populations)
  • Delta GDP (focuses on international issues of sustainable development and possible economic solutions to poverty, disease and women’s rights)
  • Earth Coalition (runs an Earth Tutors program on Fridays with local Middle Schools)
  • Scientists and Engineers for a Better Society (hosts programming focusing on scientific/engineering solutions to sustainable development issues including water shortages, famine and disease.)


Questions 6 is for informational purposes only; your response will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.


6) Please list any regional or national networks with which your group is affiliated (e.g., Energy Action Coalition/Campus Climate Challenge, Sierra Student Coalition, a state PIRG, a state student sustainability coalition):   Green Umbrella is not affiliated with any of these organizations



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