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Report Card 2011

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Yale University

Student Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2011, 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 2010 . 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.

 

School name: Yale University

Date submitted: May 17, 2010



For each question, please choose the response that best represents the activities of your student organization. Some questions have additional instructions below the question. If you cannot find information for a particular question, please leave that question blank.

 

The response to this survey should be only in reference to one student organization. If there are multiple student organizations at a given school, each organization should complete its own survey. Only one survey should be submitted for each student organization at a particular school.

 

1)  Contact Information

 

The following fields designate the main contact person for your group.

Name: Rachel Shaffer

School Name: Yale University

Name of student organization: Yale Student Environmental Coalition

Your position or title: Co-coordinator

 

2)  Student Organization

Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role. If you are a member of multiple organizations, you will be able to enter information about their activities on a later page.

Active members attend meetings and help implement the organization’s initiatives. Please describe event or email-listserv attendance under “Additional Comments.”

 

Number of active members:

30

Date of last meeting (mm/dd/yyyy):

February 24, 2010

Frequency of meetings:

Note: if you meet more than once a week, please select weekly.

Weekly

 

Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2009:

Use the categories below to help describe your group's initiatives in each area. In the "Describe" field, outline actions taken and elaborate on the impact and degree of success. You may want to compose your descriptions in Microsoft Word or a similar program and then paste them into the boxes provided. Please be detailed in your descriptions, and use the "Other" option to describe additional areas of involvement. You can also elaborate or add clarifying comments under "Additional Comments."

 

 

Addressed     

Progress           

Describe

Academics

Examples: Minor, major and concentration programs, curricular additions, research projects

[  ]

None

Administration

Examples: Procurement policies, institution-wide sustainability policy, advocating for sustainability-related staff positions

[X]

None

We tried to get the president of Yale to make a public statement in a town hall-type meeting to announce sustainability as one of Yale's core principles. However, after several correspondences with his office, they never confirmed the event.

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[  ]

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

Another group on campus is very involved in this area, and we partnered with them on one event.

Energy

Examples: Conservation/behavioral
change programs, retrofits and
efficiency improvements

[  ]

Food

Examples: Advocating for local, organic, or more sustainable food, campus gardening, food purchasing and ingredient guidelines

[X]

Moderate

We organized a "meatless" monday for Earth Weekto raise awareness of all of the energy and resources that goes into meat production. We will continue to work with Yale Dining next year to educate the student body about these issues and possibly work on some changes to the menu.

 

Green Building

Examples: Design or construction policy

[  ]

Grounds and Maintenance

Examples: Green landscaping, non-toxic cleaners

[  ]

Student Involvement

Examples: Facilitating engagement with students, speaker series, establishing EcoReps program, student guide to sustainable living on campus

[X]

Significant

As the major environmental activist group on campus, this is our major area of focus. In September 2009, we organized the College Environmental Activist Leadership Conference. Almost 200 students from across the Northeast attended this weekend full of networking, speakers, workshops, and more. In October, we organized GreenFest, a fall environmental celebration that coincided with 350.org International Day of Climate Action. We collected photo petitions from hundreds of students around campus to send to leaders to emphasize the importance of including the limit of 350 ppm in upcoming climate legislation, and we also participated in the New Haven 350.org event. In the spring, we brought several speakers in to our dinner meetings to share their experiences with students. And, we ended our year with a month full of events in April for Earth Day. The goal of the campaign, entitled Earth Day at 40: 22 Days of Action, was to involve as many students as possible from around campus. Every day in April leading up to Earth Day, we sent everyone who signed up to be on our list one action of the day. These actions ranged from signing a petition or making a phone call for climate legislation to participating in our bottled water test challenge on campus. We had incredible turnout (and we mailed over 700 letters!).

Transportation

Examples: Promoting sustainable transportation, campus fleet improvements, connecting students with public transit

[X]

Moderate

At the beginning of the year, we published maps with running and biking trails near campus so that students could use their own energy to do errands or get exercise.

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[X]

Moderate

As part of our Earth Day meal week, we organized "waste-less Wednesday" to encourage students to be aware of their food waste. On that day, students scraped their own plates into our new dining hall compost bins.

Water

Examples: Water conservation, reducing campus pollution, bottled water campaigns

[X]

Moderate

One of our projects this semester was an anti-bottled water campaign. This sub-group worked to research realistic alternatives to bottled water for events on campus and coordinated with administration to organize several bottled-water free events on campus. They also collected pledges from students groups to go "bottled water free" for all future meetings and events. And, finally, they organized a taste challenge on campus to see if people could taste the difference between bottled water and tap water.

Other

[X]

Significant

We had two other sub-groups that made significant progress this year. First, our Environmental Education group went into several local schools to teach elementary students about water use, recycling, the carbon cycle, and more. Second, our "Students Against New Coal" group collected over 1000 photo petitions to send to Steve Schwarzman, an alumnus and donor of the school, to express our dissatisfaction with his investment in new coal fired power plants. As a result of this nation-wide campaign, several of those plants were cancelled.

 

Additional Comments

 

3)  Sustainability Competitions and Challenges

This information should describe a campus challenge or competition organized by your group to promote sustainability. To add general information about your group, return to the previous questions.

 

First competition

 

Name of competition

Frequency of competition

Year initiated

Even if the competition has not been held continually each year, enter the year it began.

Groups involved in coordinating

If your group conducted the competition alone enter your group's name. Otherwise, enter other student groups, administrative offices, or faculty departments that assisted in implementation.

               

Participants:

 

Students

[  ]

Faculty

[  ]

Staff

[  ]

Other. Please describe.

 

Incentives/Rewards:

Describe how students, faculty, and/or staff were encouraged to participate in the competition. How were they notified and enticed to join the competition? What was the “prize” or reward for which they were competing?

 

Goals of competition:

Describe the sustainability-related goal of the competition (e.g. conserve electricity, water, reduce waste, increase recycling rates).

 

Energy conservation

[  ]

Waste reduction

[  ]

Water conservation

[  ]

Other. Please describe

 

Percent of energy/water/waste reduced (describe):

Describe both the raw savings, and the savings as compared to use before the competition. For example, an electricity-saving competition may have encouraged a dorm to conserve 6,000 kW/h of electricity for the month of April, a savings of 5% from the same month last year.

 

Lasting effects of competition:

Describe other impacts and effects. What are observable changes in campus behavior even after the competition’s completion? Have other efforts towards sustainability been given added momentum? Has the competition inspired other campaigns or initiatives?

 

Website:

 

Second competition

 

Name of competition

Frequency of competition

Year initiated

Even if the competition has not been held continually each year, enter the year it began.

Groups involved in coordinating

If your group conducted the competition alone enter your group's name. Otherwise, enter other student groups, administrative offices, or faculty departments that assisted in implementation.

               

Participants:

 

Students

[  ]

Faculty

[  ]

Staff

[  ]

Other. Please describe.

 

Incentives/Rewards:

Describe how students, faculty, and/or staff were encouraged to participate in the competition. How were they notified and enticed to join the competition? What was the “prize” or reward for which they were competing?

 

Goals of competition:

Describe the sustainability-related goal of the competition (e.g. conserve electricity, water, reduce waste, increase recycling rates).

 

Energy conservation

[  ]

Waste reduction

[  ]

Water conservation

[  ]

Other. Please describe

 

Percent of energy/water/waste reduced (describe):

Describe both the raw savings, and the savings as compared to use before the competition. For example, an electricity-saving competition may have encouraged a dorm to conserve 6,000 kW/h of electricity for the month of April, a savings of 5% from the same month last year.

 

Lasting effects of competition:

Describe other impacts and effects. What are observable changes in campus behavior even after the competition’s completion? Have other efforts towards sustainability been given added momentum? Has the competition inspired other campaigns or initiatives?

 

Website:

 

Third competition

 

Name of competition

Frequency of competition

Year initiated

Even if the competition has not been held continually each year, enter the year it began.

Groups involved in coordinating

If your group conducted the competition alone enter your group's name. Otherwise, enter other student groups, administrative offices, or faculty departments that assisted in implementation.

               

Participants:

 

Students

[  ]

Faculty

[  ]

Staff

[  ]

Other. Please describe.

 

Incentives/Rewards:

Describe how students, faculty, and/or staff were encouraged to participate in the competition. How were they notified and enticed to join the competition? What was the “prize” or reward for which they were competing?

 

Goals of competition:

Describe the sustainability-related goal of the competition (e.g. conserve electricity, water, reduce waste, increase recycling rates).

 

Energy conservation

[  ]

Waste reduction

[  ]

Water conservation

[  ]

Other. Please describe

 

Percent of energy/water/waste reduced (describe):

Describe both the raw savings, and the savings as compared to use before the competition. For example, an electricity-saving competition may have encouraged a dorm to conserve 6,000 kW/h of electricity for the month of April, a savings of 5% from the same month last year.

 

Lasting effects of competition:

Describe other impacts and effects. What are observable changes in campus behavior even after the competition’s completion? Have other efforts towards sustainability been given added momentum? Has the competition inspired other campaigns or initiatives?

 

Website:

                               

4)  Sustainability in Student Government and Other Activities

Please describe the role of Student Government and other groups.

 

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

No

 

If yes. Please describe below:

Include the following: How many students are active in the committee? How often does it meet? What kinds of power and decision-making ability does it have? What impacts and initiatives has it undertaken? What kind of working relationship does it have with other student groups and the administration?

 

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

Describe any activities that your group or yourself, as a leader on campus, have undertaken that are not already included in your survey responses. If applicable, also describe off-campus and community efforts that relate to institutional sustainability at your school.

We sent a group of students to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December, and we blogged about it to keep students updated on the progress of the talks. Also, before and after the conference, we organized speakers and other events to make sure that people were educated about the issues at stake. During the year, we organized and participated in community service events, such as clean-ups and energy audits in the community. We also partner with community organizations, such as Act New Haven, to work on issues within the city. This year, we also were able to help with the launch of the new Bike-Share program on campus, which last year's YSEC leaders helped start. It is still in its pilot stages, but it has been successful so far. Yale is also involved in their own carbon offset program, called the Community Carbon Fund. It is a way to encourage people to offset their travel costs, but to also invest in the local community. The money collected through the program supports energy audits and energy improvements for the local community.

 

 

Please Note: The following is for informational purposes only; your response will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.

 

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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