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Report Card 2010

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University of Virginia

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: Ben Chrisinger, University of Virginia
Position (in student organization): co-founder, past chair (07-08, 08-09)
Date survey submitted: July 21, 2009

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.
Name of organization: UVa Student Council Environmental Sustainability Committee
Number of active members: 30
Website: http://people.virginia.edu/~bwc8t/ESC
Date of last meeting: May 4, 2009
Frequency of meetings: Full committee meets every other week, Task Forces meet weekly

Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: Off-campus recycling, Community garden, sustainability house proposal, Greening Greek Life, green e-Newsletter, Green Graduation, on-campus farmers' market, sustainability course

 

Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

Off-campus recycling - created guide for students living off-campus to get recycling in their homes or apartments.  Created email account to track the success of each attempt to get recycling in an off-campus location; students email us with their situation, we recommend how they should approach the situation (i/e contact the city to get a free bin, contact the landlord to request a meeting, etc).  Had meeting with several of the largest property managers in Charlottesville to discuss the prospects of providing recycling in all of their properties.  Since this meeting, at least two of the largest off-campus apartment complexes have started providing recycling for their residents.

Community garden - worked with administrators in the Office of the Architect, Student Affairs, and Department of Urban & Environmental Planning to fully develop proposal and find a location.  Raised over $5,000 in grants and donations from community members.  Broke ground in March 2009 and hired two student Garden Managers to oversee the project during summer months.  Harvested produce goes to the Charlottesville Community Food Project, which provides free CSA (community supported agriculture) shares to families that cannot afford them otherwise.

Sustainability house proposal - the UVa sustainability house would be a residential living community where students could live in an existing Charlottesville home and develop green ways of living, including behavioral changes and structural modifications to the property.  The home will be an example of reasonable, yet effective and efficient green living for the Charlottesville community.  We have worked with administrators in the Student Affairs office to fully develop proposal, and formed a faculty advisory panel.  Our proposal was approved by the University's Residential Housing Committee and some potential sites have been investigated.  We are currently still searching for an appropriate site.

On-campus farmers' market - Collaborated with the Charlottesville City Market to bring several local market vendors to campus.  The event occurred twice in the fall and once in the spring.  We received very positive feedback from both students and vendors, and have plans to hold other markets in the fall semester.

Greening Greek Life - members of fraternities and sororities must attend a certain number of sanctioned programs annually (typically enrichment or safety-based).  We worked with UVa's Inter-Fraternity Council and Inter-Sorority Council to create green living program and gave several of these presentations to fraternities and sororities in the spring semester.  We have planned a green living competition for greek houses which will be launched in the 09-10 school year.

Green e-Newsletter (GreenLetter) - We developed a monthly email newsletter that is sent out to a mailing list we have collected over the past year.  The newsletters contain updates and events from the campus and community environmental organizations, as well as seasonally-themed green tips (our March issue had tips on how to have a "greener" spring break). 

Green Graduation - Task Force met with officials from UVA Dining to discuss using biodegradable materials and providing adequate recycling at Graduation events.  Talked with the Dean of Students to explore the option of a "green pledge" for graduating seniors.  Talked with bookstore representatives to explore option reusing robes in the future.

Sustainability course - Worked with and Environmental Sciences professor through the fall semester to develop a sustainability education course, "Ecological Footprints."  The spring course had students teach each other about different facets of sustainability and complete projects on topics chosen by the students.  As an illustration of their environmental footprints, the class had to carry around all of the waste they generated for one week in a trashbag.  They also visited the composting facility that receives the food wastes from our dining hall.


SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS
2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?
[ X]  No

 

SUSTAINABILITY IN STUDENT GOVERNMENT
3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?
[  ]  No
[ X ]  Yes. Please describe: Our committee was founded in Spring 2007 to address issues of environmental sustainability for the UVa Student Council.


OTHER ACTIVITIES
4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:  
In collaboration with UVA Dining, we worked to remove trays from the dining halls in order to save water and reduce food waste.  This year was our first "trayless" year and significant food waste reductions have been documented.

 

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:  

 

Student Council Environmental Sustainability Committee | http://people.virginia.edu/~bwc8t/ESC/Welcome.html  
The Committee works to advocate progress toward a more environmentally-conscious and sustainable University.  We look to collaborate closely with existing sustainability efforts and initiatives by University students and officials, and to suggest and implement innovative new ideas for a greener and more environmentally-responsible UVa.  Past programs have included: UVA Community Garden, On-Grounds Farmers’ Markets, Off-Grounds Recycling, Greening Greek Life, Green Graduation, Sustainability Course: Ecological Footprints, and a Sustainability House Proposal.

 

Student Environmental Action| http://people.virginia.edu/~bwc8t/SEA/Welcome.html  
Student Environmental Action is a Contracted Independent Organization with the University of Virginia.  We actively pursue issues in environmental justice on local, state, and national levels, and look to raise awareness and effect meaningful change in response to environmental concerns.

 

Students Promoting Fair Trade | http://www.student.virginia.edu/~spft/home.html  
Students Promoting Fair Trade is an organization of students from various academic backgrounds committed to promoting the equitable trading of international goods at the University of Virginia and in the greater Charlottesville community. SPFT seeks to educate distributers and consumers about the positive aspects of Fair Trade in order to promote the development of Third World producers.

 

Green Grounds | http://www.student.virginia.edu/~grngrnds/index.htm  
The Green Grounds Group is dedicated to educating and advocating for sustainable planning, design, implementation and operations on the grounds of the University of Virginia.

Formed in 2004 by planning and architecture students to address green design at the University, the group sponsors projects that encompass a range of sustainable design ideas from green roofs to energy use to transportation. Through each project, Green Grounds works with a diverse set of university stakeholders including administrators, staff, faculty, students and community members.

Holding a strong conviction that the University of Virginia can and should employ sustainable practices as part of their growth strategy, the Green Grounds Group promotes a broad range of projects from minimization of energy consumption to selection of low environmental impact materials to site and building water management to improved indoor air quality.

 

Net Impact at Darden | http://web2.darden.virginia.edu/student/html/standard.aspx?menu_id=88&id=112  
Net Impact is dedicated to using the power of business to positively impact social, environmental, and economic concerns across the world. With over 120 chapters at top business schools, Net Impact seeks to spread knowledge of social and environmental sustainability, ethics, and values-based leadership to graduate students and professionals.

 

Virginia Environmental Law Forum  
VELF is a student discussion group regarding environmental issues and careers. The Forum also aims to improve the environmental curriculum; its members volunteer at local nonprofit environmental groups.

 

Environmental Sciences Organization | http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/eso/eso.html  
The Environmental Sciences Organization (ESO) provides a link between the Environmental Sciences Department and the students of the University. While the organization is mainly geared toward undergraduate majors and minors in the department, it has its share of members from many different disciplines of the University. All members have one thing in common--an interest in the Environmental Sciences.

 

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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Name: Thushara Gunda
Position (in student organization): Vice President
Date survey submitted: July 22, 2009

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.
Name of organization: Environmental Sciences Organization
Number of active members: ~20
Website: http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/eso/eso.html
Date of last meeting: Apr. 24, 2009
Frequency of meetings: Weekly
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: UVa's Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008: Completed and published the aforementioned inventory

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS
2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?
[ X ]  No
[  ]  Yes. Please list details for each competition.
#1 - Name of competition:
Year initiated:
Frequency of competition:
Participants:
Incentives:
Goal of competition:
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced:
Lasting effects of competition:
Website:

SUSTAINABILITY IN STUDENT GOVERNMENT
3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?
[  ]  No
[X ]  Yes. Please describe: The Environmental Sustainability Committee, a part of the Student Council, specifically addresses the needs of sustainable issues for students. They work on projects such as EcoHouse and bike sharing programs amongst many others!

OTHER ACTIVITIES
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:  

  • Community Garden - Megan Bucknum
  • Environmental Sustainability Committee - Wynnie Long and Michelle Henry
  • Students for Environmental Action - Rachel Baker

 

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):  None.

 

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