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Report Card 2010

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Vanderbilt 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: Brent Fitzgerald

Position (in student organization): President in Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR)

Date survey submitted: June 21, 2009

 

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

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

Name of organization: Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR)

Number of active members: 25 to 45

Website: http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/spear/

Date of last meeting: April 13, 2009

Frequency of meetings: General Body is once every two weeks, and Officer Meetings occur during the weeks in between.

Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008:

  • Cardboard Crew: SPEAR, for the past seven years, along with Plant Operations, has planned the recycling of the cardboard generated during the Move-In of undergraduate students living on campus.  SPEAR recruits student volunteers to round up and break down the cardboard in large dumpsters for the occasion.
  • Composting at the Commons: For the second year, SPEAR coordinates with Plant Operations and Dining staff and recruits student volunteers to compost food offerings from the Commons Dining Center Preparation Kitchen, coffee grounds from Common Grounds, and grass clippings from
  • Kilowatt Ours Youth Initiative: It is a program developed by Jennifer Barrie based upon the documentary Kilowatt Ours by local filmmaker Jeff Barrie.  The programs focuses on sustainable energy and conservation in the Southeast, and SPEAR is partnering with the program and send out trained educators to present the documentary and the accompanying program to elementary and middle school age children.
  • House Energy Competition: The ten houses on the campus for first-year students, called the Commons, competed to reduce their building's energy bill by the greatest percentage.  The competition was a month long, RA’s and Heads of Houses encouraged participation, and educational tips were provided on how to reduce their bills.  The language coincided with that found at SustainVU’s Think One campaign.
  • Education and Outreach: SPEAR participated in Vanderbuddies Playday, Rec Fest, Wellness Bash, Vanderbilt Students’ Volunteering for Science’s Family Science Night, Vanderbilt’s first ever Green Tailgate, and Global Climate Change Solutions Week to dialogue with both the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities about sustainable practices.
  • Sustainability Seminars: At each general body meeting, SPEAR officers held short presentations and led ensuing discussion on topics related to sustainability.  The goal is to educate and train SPEAR members on how to live a greener and more sustainable life and then, with this knowledge, to branch out to the general student body and to the community.
  • Rooftop Gardens/Green Roof: The project sought to transform food scrap from the Rand Dining Center into fertile soil to then be used for a Roof Garden and/or Community Garden.  The green space would continue to beautify the campus, spread the ideals of environmental protection, and create a more heat-efficient building.
  • Rites of Spring Recycling: SPEAR coordinated efforts to pick up recyclable materials (plastic and aluminum) after Vanderbilt's each night of the two-day spring concert, Rites of Spring. SPEAR recruited student volunteers to comb through the lawn where the concerts were held, worked with Plant Operations to secure a dumpster to contain the recycled materials, and ensured that Allied Waste hauled the dumpster away for the actual recycling of the materials.
  • Eco Fashion Show: SPEAR partnered with the Sierra Club and other fashion organizations on campus to produce Vanderbilt's first ever Eco-Fashion Show, which will premier September 2009. The show will feature designers who have made efforts to make their clothing eco-friendly by using inks, threads, and materials that serve to be non-damaging to the environment.  Models will be undergraduate students.

Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

·        Cardboard Crew: The program occurred and generated 8.75 tons of cardboard, which contrasts to 2007’s amount of 6.73 tons.  Over fifty students volunteered, which is twice the number of volunteers in 2007 and four times in 2006. 

·        Composting at the Commons: The Commons Compost Discovery Site composted approximately 300 pounds, where about 15 gallons of food waste and 2 gallons of coffee grounds are added daily to the site.

·        Kilowatt Ours Youth Initiative: In contrast to September of 2008, when only two SPEAR members volunteered, there are now ten students who regularly volunteer and fifteen who have been trained to teach the children.

·         House Energy Competition: The winner of the competition was Gillette House, which reduced its energy consumption by 11%.  The energy consumption per resident out of a population of 1,600 was 9%.  This is more than double the previous year’s reduction (4%).

·        Education and Outreach: SPEAR participated in all of the events indicated above as they occurred throughout the school year.

·        Sustainability Seminars: By the end of the year, SPEAR had created and delivered nine presentations and seminars on different themes in sustainability.  All of these are available on the website http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/spear/presentations.php .

·        Rooftop Gardens/Green Roof: Administrators, staff, and SPEAR members met and discussed plans on the issue.  While the issue is still being discussed, nothing tangible has resulted yet.

·        Rites of Spring Recycling: For 2009, SPEAR continued this program for the fourth year and generated 882 pounds of aluminum and 378 pounds of plastic.

·        Eco Fashion Show: The location and date are set.  Models and designers are being recruited, and plans are continuing to progress.

 

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS

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: House Energy Competition

Year initiated: March 2007

Frequency of competition: Once a Year

Participants: All on-campus first-year residents

Incentives: Free party with pizza, massages from a professional masseuse, and specialty t-shirts for the house that won

Goal of competition: The goals of the competition are to educate students on the importance of energy as it relates to conservation and global climate change, to empower students to learn convenient ways to reduce their daily energy consumption and to apply that learning, and to reward students for their positive behavior.

Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: Spring 2007—3% for the average first year student; Spring 2008—4% for the average first year student; and Fall 2008—9% for the average year student.

Lasting effects of competition: First year students have been the target for these competitions because the lasting effect is to provide them adequate resources, knowledge, and habits that they will carry with them throughout and beyond college.

Website: http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/spear/projects.php

 

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:

Environmental Affairs Committee
Senator: Kate Goudge
Co-Chair: Ben Kahn

The Environmental Affairs Committee serves as VSG’s representative in the campus wide effort to facilitate environmental awareness and sustainability. Additionally, it is VSG’s liaison to the various environmental groups on campus and it works with these organizations to develop, coordinate, and promote recycling and energy/resource conservation on campus by developing creative ideas for improving sustainability and working with administrators to promote a greener Vanderbilt. This Committee will pick up the reins of the Think Gold Act Green Coalition and through this coalition, help unite and organize the efforts of environmental groups and empower them with VSG resources, political capital, and manpower. Finally, the Environmental Affairs Committee will develop unique, cost-effective initiatives which will help decrease the amount of resources that Vanderbilt uses, encourage the student body to be more environmentally friendly, and encourage the university to aspire to a leadership role in terms of campus-sustainability to help combat Global Climate Change. http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/vsg/index.php?cmsid=5

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

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

·        In the spring of 2004, SPEAR campaigned for the six future new buildings of the Commons to adhere to the LEED certification.  Following much research, a formal written petition and presentation, the administration, especially Campus Planning and Construction, agreed to pursue LEED certification for the new residence halls by seeking at least the minimal level. To date, the Commons has a total of seven LEED-certified buildings, four Gold and three Silver, which form the largest collection of LEED-certified buildings in Tennessee, and one of the largest collections of certified buildings in the southeastern United States.  http://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu/leed_dorms.php

·        In the fall of 2004, SPEAR instituted the first Cardboard Crew, which has occurred every fall since.

·        In the spring of 2005, SPEAR initiated and then partnered with the Student Government Association (SGA), Interhall, and the Inter-Fraternity Council to implement the facilities and process for recycling at the Greek houses.

·        In the summer of 2005, Vanderbilt receives the 2005 TP3 Tennessee Green Schools Award from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  SPEAR was recognized for its contributions to winning the award.

·        In the spring of 2006, SPEAR instituted Rites of Spring Recycling.  It generated 239 pounds of aluminum in 2006, 898 pounds of aluminum and 132 pounds of plastic in 2007, and 982 pounds of aluminum and 243 pounds of plastic in 2008.

·        In the fall of 2006, SPEAR’s Administration Liaison Committee conducted a trash audit and put together a presentation along with their 30-page proposal for a new comprehensive resource program at Vanderbilt University. This was shown to the administration, the Medical Center Advisory Council, the University Staff Advisory Council, and the environmental committee of the Faculty Senate. Interhall and SGA passed resolutions supporting SPEAR.  In part because of this pressure, the positions of sustainability director and recycling coordinator were created and filled, which meant that the content of the proposal largely came into fruition.

·        In the spring of 2007, SPEAR initiated the first Energy Competition for freshmen on-campus residents, where students on average reduced their energy consumption by 2.5% over two weeks.

·        In the spring of 2007, SPEAR researched, proposed and presented the creation of a Food Compost Demonstration Site the Commons Center. Dining, Plant Operations, and Campus Planning & Construction supported it.  That fall was when the service formally started.  These efforts by SPEAR contributed to Vanderbilt University earning the 2008 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Green School in Higher Education.  http://www.vanderbilt.edu/myvu/news/2008/06/23/the-commons-earns-environmental-award-from-the-state.60710

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: 

·        VBI (Vanderbilt Biodiesel Initiative) VBI is a student-led, university-wide initiative which recovers waste vegetable oil from our cafeterias and local restaurants to process into biodiesel to fuel various campus vehicles.  Their goal is to be a model of economic and environmental sustainability and their mission is to share our experience to educate others, on and off campus, about the viability and potential of biodiesel.  stacey.l.worman@vanderbilt.edu http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/biodiesel/index.html

·        Vanderbilt Sierra Club ronald.s.yim@vanderbilt.edu   http://www.vanderbiltsierraclub.com/#

 

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): 

SPEAR is unaffiliated with any regional or national networks.

 

 

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Name: Derek Riley
Position (in student organization): Founder/coordinator
Date survey submitted: 6/16/09

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.
Name of organization: Vanderbilt Biodiesel Initiative
Number of active members: 40
Website: www.vanderbilt.edu/biodiesel
Date of last meeting: 5/10/09
Frequency of meetings: 2x/week
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: Regular production of biodiesel and promotion of the fuel and byproducts
Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

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:

#2 - 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: Others can answer this question more appropriately

OTHER ACTIVITIES
4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:   Production of biodiesel and biodiesel-based soap products for campus use.

 

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Name: Leslie Labruto
Position (in student organization): President of Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR)
Date survey submitted: June 22, 2009

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

SPEAR will increase environmental awareness and promote more environmentally sustainable habits and infrastructure within the Vanderbilt and Nashville community.

  1. SPEAR will strive to redouble our efforts on campus while maintaining a presence in the Nashville community because SPEAR's primary commitment is to the University.
  2. SPEAR will make an attempt to work closely with the administration on all projects so as to maximize available resources in the quest for sustainability
Name of organization: SPEAR
Number of active members: 38
Website: http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/spear/
Date of last meeting: April 13th, 2009
Frequency of meetings: Bi-Weekly
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008:
Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS
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: House Energy Competition
Year initiated: 2007
Frequency of competition: Yearly
Participants: First-Year Students
Incentives: Pizza Party and Masseuse for a day
Goal of competition: Reduce energy consumption over the course of one month while instilling and promoting sustainable long-last energy saving habits
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: cumulatively, 13%
Lasting effects of competition: Lower percentage of energy consumption
Website: http://studentorgs.vanderbilt.edu/spear/projects_2008f.php
(specifically)

House Energy Competition

The House Energy Competition served to create awareness on Vanderbilt campus by hosting a competition amongst the 10 first-year houses. We held a month long competition to see who could reduce their energy consumption by the greatest amount. Throughout the competition, tips for greener living were place in the Hustler. At the end of the competition, the house who reduced their consumption by the greatest percentage was awarded a pizza party and a masseuse for the day.

Project leader: Leslie Labruto


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: We have a new position within our student government VSG (Vanderbilt Student Goverment) called the environmental affairs chair that works within the environmental sector of student goverment. This position ensures that all events and initiatives are undertaken with green concerns in mind.

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

Cardboard Crew

We are making our usual preparations for recycling cardboard during move-in days in August. To demonstrate how much cardboard we can recycle, here are some numbers from 2007:

Cardboard Collected by SPEAR and Vanderbilt Plant Operations during Move-In Day:

Kissam Quad: 2.0 tons

Olin Lawn: 1.7 tons

Peabody: 1.3 tons

24th and Vanderbilt Place: 1.7 tons

Figures are preliminary and may underestimate the actual amount. 1 ton is about 6 times the weight of Shaquille O'Neal.

Project leaders: Peter Reisz and Jinsu Sohn

Composting at the Commons

We compost food offerings from the Commons Dining Center Preparation Kitchen and coffee grounds from Common Grounds. In addition, we seek to utilize our compost for campus beautification projects and perhaps for free plants that will be given to Vanderbilt students.

Project leaders: Luke Boehne and Liwei Jiang

Compost Expansion & Green Roofs/Community Gardens

Goals

To promote the cause of sustainability by transforming Rand’s food scrap into fertile soil which will then be used in a Roof Garden and/or Community Garden which will beautify our campus, spread the ideals of environmental protection, and fight Global Climate Change by creating a more heat-efficient building (hopefully Sarratt) and reducing landfills.

Implementation

  • Expand the Common’s Compost Initiative to Rand and start composting food scraps (with Wilskills). Possibly located on top of Sarratt.
  • Build a garden on top of Sarratt (another building) and/or a Community Garden on campus with help from Gardens of Babylon, a professional "green" landscaping company who helped SPEAR with the Commons Composting.
  • Harvest produce from the garden and use it in food preparation or sell it at one of the on-campus markets.

Project leaders: Ben Kahn and Luke Boehne

Eco-Fashion Show

SPEAR will be partnering with the Sierra Club as well as other fashion organizations on campus to produce Vanderbilt's first ever Eco-Fashion Show this coming fall. The show will feature designers who have made efforts to make their clothing eco-friendly by using inks, threads, and materials that serve to be non-damaging to the environment. More information about time and dates to come!

Project leaders: Leslie Labruto and Colleen Parker ( colleen.e.parker@vanderbilt.edu

House Energy Competition

We plan to hold a two-week energy competition among the ten Houses on the Commons. In preparing for this event, we will be advertising heavily around the Commons and in our school newpapers such as the Hustler . In essence, the ten houses will compete to see who can reduce their building's energy bill by the greatest percentage. We will provide tips on ways for them to reduce their bills. We are even going to have the RAs on each floor have a floor meeting to encourage energy reduction tips. The House that lowers their bill the most will have a huge party on the Commons Lawn.

Eventually, we hope to have energy competitions involving every residence hall on campus.

Project leader: Leslie Labruto

Kilowatt Ours

Kilowatt Ours is a program developed by local filmmaker Mark Barrie focusing on sustainable energy and conservation in the Southeast. SPEAR is partnering with the program and send out trained educators to present the documentary Kilowatt Ours and the accompanying program to elementary and middle school age children.

Project leader: Peter Reisz

Rites of Spring Recycling

SPEAR coordinated efforts to pick up all recycable materials after Vanderbilt's two-day spring concert featuring acts such as Lil' Jon and Spoon. After each night SPEAR would comb through the lawn and properly dispose of cans and bottles, while also picking up valuables left behind at Rites of Spring.

Project leader: Rebecca Maddox

Seminar Series: Environmental Sustainability

At each general body meeting, we will have a short presentation that covers a topic related to environmental sustainability. We gladly welcome ideas and suggestions.

Some of the items on the Presentations page are examples of past seminars.

Project leader: Liwei Jiang


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:  
Sierra Club - Contact Gabe Horton (Vice-President) at gabriel.j.horton@vanderbilt.edu
http://www.vanderbiltsierraclub.com/

 

 

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