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Report Card 2010

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Oberlin College

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: Lara Nagle
Position (in student organization): Oberlin College Recycler, Recycled Products Co-op Student Liaison
Date survey submitted:

1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.
Name of organization: OC REcyclers
Number of active members: 13
Website: oberlin.edu/recycle
Date of last meeting: May 2009
Frequency of meetings: 1 per week
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008:

1.  Semesterly "big swap" - exchange of unwanted but reusable items unlimited in genre by all of campus (staff and students and community) - all free!  The REcyclers organize and facilitate the swap, and clean up afterwards (a huge job involving lots of carting of stuff and donating and cleaning)

2.  Yearly audits of the trash and recycling in order to determine the college's output (and $ value of recycling) and to figure out what could be recycled that isn't.  Then following up with education to students about how, where, and what to recycle.

3.  Hosting programs and campus events supporting energy efficiency, economy, and re-use (in the form of re-using materials).  For example, during Earth Day this April 2009, students made water-saving pledges, an Obie alum sold 100% reused material laptop bags, we recycled campus electronics, and hosted a crafting table using "trash".

4.  Our anchor task is to manage the "free store," a campus store that operates like the "big swap," but all year round.  In addition, we do "walk-throughs" of all campus buildings to make sure that beside every trash can, there is a recycling bin, that all trash and recycling signs are present and visible, etc.

5.  Side projects include but are not limited to:  writing a proposal for a recycling center on campus, for a tiered student parking lot (with frequent to long-term parking options with associated fees to reduce unnecessary car usage while avoiding community-campus parking issues), for a college-airport shuttle to lessen the load of students during breaks on the local public transportation system, for an average utility rate for student renters so that students who "spend" less than the average on utilities get a semesterly check for the difference, answering questions about recycling for students and community members, etc.

Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

The proposals are in different stages of completion.  Some are still being written (from this past semester), others have been presented and need further revision.

Otherwise, the tasks we complete occur successfully every semester or year, depending on the nature of the activity.

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: EcoLympics
Year initiated: ?  More than 2 years ago.
Frequency of competition: Yearly
Participants: All students, theoretically
Incentives: Dorm pizza or ice cream party, free energy efficient lightbulbs
Goal of competition: To educate and raise awareness about human behavior on the environment
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: ?  This is best answered by Prof. John Petersen, of the ENVS department and patenter of the Energy Orbs that determine energy use in the dorms.
Lasting effects of competition: Students in certain dorms really get into it; the envs 101 students also get to work with env. groups on campus, which improves membership for those groups in subsequent semester (because students from the 101 class join out of interest later, when grades no longer play a role)
Website: Should be a link on the ENVS website.

The Recyclers' specific roles in the this campus-wide competition involve working with 101 students to conduct a waste/recycling audit, giving out points for Big Swap donations, ///

3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?
[ X ]  No  But certain senators are particularly "green" in their platforms
[  ]  Yes. Please describe:

4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:  

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:  
Definitely contact the Oberlin Student Cooperative Assocation about their composting, local food, bulk food, and consensus policies.

I am also a member of the REcycled Products Co-op, ( http://www.oberlin.edu/stuorg/recyprod/mission.html ) which operates like the free store but specializes in school and office supplies.  we also sell recycled material supplies at cost.

This group is volunteer only and meets once every two weeks while holding office hours MOn-Thurs 7-9pm.  Last semester, we hosted a semester of crafting events including alternative menstrual pad making, bookbinding, nature jewelry making, stamp making, start-to-finish zine making, trashion show design, and quill-making/caligraphy.

Also, our campus has an active OPIRG membership, an EPIG membership (Env. Policy and Implementation Group?) - contact psabo@oberlin.edu , weekly "Green Tea" and "Green Drinks" meetings, a college-affiliated organic farm (the George Jones Memorial farm), and an excellent ENVS faculty who host a number of env./community-related student projects every semester.  For instance, working with David Orr, I got to research the different components of making Oberlin part of a greenbelt, and under the tutelage of John Petersen, I used a computer modeling program to model the infection of apple maggot on a commercial apple orchard.

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):  




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