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Report Card 2011

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Date submitted: July 21, 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: Barrett Rehr

School Name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Name of student organization: Engineers for a Sustainable World

Your position or title: President

 

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:

20

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

July 7, 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

[X]

Moderate

ESW leadership reestablished sustainability-oriented group in "Introduction to Engineering Design" course taken by all engineers. "Independent Studies" for students working on ESW project.

Administration

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

[  ]

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[  ]

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

Energy

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

[X]

None

Biogas project in development.

Food

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

[  ]

 

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]

Moderate

speaker series (biogas, Peace Corps, global water issues), participation in Earth Fest event, student activities fairs

Transportation

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

[  ]

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[X]

Moderate

biodigester development for campus & Peruvian village, aiding composting project

Water

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

[X]

None

hosted speaker on global water issues

Other

[X]

Significant

Projects in foreign nations addressing above topics in cooperation with Haitian grade schools and Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.

 

Additional Comments

Approx 20 committed students regularly attending meetings, core group continuing work through summer. Collaboration with campus faculty, staff, and administration, as well as other student groups, community organizations, and foreign schools. Total mailing list subscription > 130. Networking opportunities through ESW National organization.

 

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

Eco-Hall Challenge

Frequency of competition

Annually

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.

Residence Hall Association, Ecologic, Residence Life

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

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

[X]

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:

http://ecologic.union.rpi.edu/wiki/EcoHall_Challenge

 

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?

The Student Sustainability Task Force, which is submitting a separate survey, was initially created by the Student Senate, but no longer reports to it.

 

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.

ESW PROJECTS:

 

Campus Food Waste Project:

"This is a project to find a solution to RPI's campus food waste, which is currently sent to a landfill.  Options under investigation include composting and biodigestion, in conjunction with Facilities, other student organizations, and a student-led startup company."

 

Peru Dairy Cooperative and Pasteurization Project:

"Farmers in Langui, Peru produce milk and artisan cheeses on a small scale for consumption and sale to immediate neighbors. Because these products are produced without pasteurization technologies and in unhygienic conditions, farmers are unable to obtain dairy market certification, limiting them from entering the formal market and earning higher profits. Langui is one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged regions in the country, with an average annual income of approximately $730 per family. "

 

Our team is working with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and with local farmers to develop simple, affordable pasteurization technology. Equally important to the pasteurization technology, we are working with farmers in Langui to develop a dairy cooperative. This will allow farmers to pool their resources, gain education on hygienic processing, and make connections to larger markets. Nearby Cusco Peru sees 1 million tourists each year, with hundreds of hotels and restaurants serving tourists who are interested in consuming locally produced artisan products. The high costs of traditional pasteurization equipment have limited smaller dairy farmers from entering this market in the past.

 

"Haitian School Solar Computer Center:

"tudents in Engineers for a Sustainable World are working with local community and industry groups to provide a sustainable learning environment for a K-12 school in Lascahobas, Haiti. Phases I & II of the project, completed in January 2010, involved the installation of a photovoltaic power system and a tablet PC computer classroom. While support and development for the digital classroom will continue, additional future projects being considered are improving air quality conditions, a building stability assessment, clean water initiatives, and an on-campus roof garden to supplement lunch costs for the students.

 

"Haitian School Aeroponics:

"We recently won a grant to bring on-site aeroponics agriculture to Haitian satellite schools that can not afford to feed their students."

 

NON-ESW PROJECTS:I am involved in all dining-related sustainability projects, including a move to trayless dining (pending modification of a dishroom system that requires trays), bringing local foods to on-campus convenience store (in-progress), weekly Terra Cafe, and looking for opportunities to reduce the embodied carbon in our food.Solar Car Racing Team

 

 

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):

Engineers for a Sustainable World

 

 

 

 

______________________________

 

 

 

 

 

School name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Date submitted: July 21, 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: Jay Walker

School Name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Name of student organization: Ecologic

Your position or title: President

 

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:

20

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

May 4, 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

[  ]

None

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[  ]

None

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

None

Energy

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

[  ]

None

Food

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

[  ]

None

 

Green Building

Examples: Design or construction policy

[  ]

None

Grounds and Maintenance

Examples: Green landscaping, non-toxic cleaners

[  ]

None

Student Involvement

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

[X]

Moderate

Earth festival attracted interested students and we helped fund EcoHall challenge.

Transportation

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

[  ]

None

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[  ]

None

Water

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

[  ]

None

Other

[  ]

None

 

Additional Comments

The year was a fairly dormant one.

 

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

EcoHall Challenge

Frequency of competition

Annually

Year initiated

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

2007

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.

RHA

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

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?

Prizes for residents of winning halls.

 

Goals of competition:

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

 

Energy conservation

[X]

Waste reduction

[  ]

Water conservation

[  ]

Other. Please describe

Education

 

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.

Unsure

 

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?

Unsure

 

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.

Got a group together to begin a bike shop and a bike share.

 

 

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):

 

 

______________________________

 

 

 

 

School name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Date submitted: May 12, 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: Beth Gondeck

School Name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Name of student organization: Terra Cafe

Your position or title: President

 

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:

15

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

April 28, 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

[  ]

Administration

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

[  ]

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[  ]

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

Energy

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

[X]

Moderate

we educate and discuss the energy impact of a global systems compared to regional models

Food

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

[X]

Significant

We are a student run Cafe dedicated to serving sustaible meals on campus. We serve local and organic food once a week to campus.  We are an nonprofit student run club who tyically serve 100- 150 people each week.

 

Green Building

Examples: Design or construction policy

[  ]

Grounds and Maintenance

Examples: Green landscaping, non-toxic cleaners

[X]

Moderate

we work with land scaping to grow micro greens in a green house on campus that we serve during our weekly lunches

Student Involvement

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

[X]

Significant

Not only are students volunteers, they are best customers

Transportation

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

[  ]

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[  ]

Water

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

[X]

Moderate

we discuss and educate students how pesticides and fertilizers contaminate rivers, lakes, and gorund water systems

Other

[  ]

 

Additional Comments

Here is a two minuet video explaining who we are and what we do:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4hjE61nwdgHere a few of the programs we held this year:Farmers Maket Sampler (Severed $500 worth of farmers Market food to our school to encorage studens to shop at the market educational infomation was provided)Oxfam Hunger Banquet (we held a hunger banquate and discussed global hunger issues and how sustainable fariming can help conbat the problems), Susitable Iron cheff Competition (freshmen students learn about the benifits of local food by visting a food coop and purchasing food to use in a cooking comeition) Chowder Fest (Local cook off competition in our town all ingredients are local)

 

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

Sustaible Iron Cheff

Frequency of competition

Annually

Year initiated

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

2008

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.

Terra Cafe

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

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?

Freshman students have a chance to participate in this event.Students learn more about the importance of local and organic food.The visit a food co-op and purchase ingredients, and then compete to cook the best sustainable meal. Students who win receive gift certificates to local eateries.

 

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

Education on the imporance of eating organically and locally

 

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.

NA

 

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?

NA

 

Website:

http://terracafe.union.rpi.edu/

 

Second competition

 

Name of competition

Face the Waste

Frequency of competition

Annually

Year initiated

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

2007

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.

Student Sustainable Task Force

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

Faculty

[X]

Staff

[X]

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?

Student walk around to cubes placed through out campus displaying the waste which our campus generates.  Students guess waste statics for our school at each both and walk away with more information on how to recycle and reuse waste.

 

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

[X]

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.

Na

 

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?

Na

 

Website:

don't know

 

Third competition

 

Name of competition

Eco Hall Challange

Frequency of competition

Annually

Year initiated

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

2006

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.

Ecologic, RHA

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

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?

Freshman Resident Halls participate in a competition to lower their energy usage. The competition last roughly six weeks (energy readings are taken on a weekly basis). The hall that conserves the most energy wins!The wining hall receives and ice cream party.

 

Goals of competition:

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

 

Energy conservation

[X]

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.

Not sure

 

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?

NA

 

Website:

NA

                               

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?

Yes

 

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?

Student Sustainable Task Force This group works with the administration to institute lasting environmental conservation efforts on campus. Their main goal is to create an office of sustainability and to build up and endowment for the purpose of sustainable projects.

 

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.

 

 

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):

NA

 

 

 

 

______________________________

 

 

 

 

 

School name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Date submitted: July 30, 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: Anasha Cummings

School Name: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Name of student organization: Student Sustainability Task Force (SSTF)

Your position or title: Chairperson

 

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:

15

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

March 10, 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

[X]

Significant

We have been working closely with the faculty who have been leading the effort to develop the sustainability studies Minor program and are working on a major to compliment it (http://sustain.sts.rpi.edu). We have also helped highlight many of the research projects being done at RPI in the area of sustainability, from imitating photosynthesis to developing new, highly efficient LED lighting (http://www.lrc.rpi.edu) to creating innovative architectural solutions (http://www.case.rpi.edu), just to name a few. We are also leading up a few research projects of our own, including an energy monitoring and display system and a hands on horticultural class.

Administration

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

[X]

Moderate

The Student Sustainability Task Force has been advocating for a sustainability coordinator since it's inception and while we work with a few other groups and individuals to fulfill many of the responsibilities of this role until it's creation, we continue to press for it and have made significant strides this year. Many in the administration now agree that such a position is necessary and the hiring document has been drafted. We do, however face a few budgeting hurtles before the position will officially be created. To address this we have been working on a proposal for a rotating green fund. Overall, the administration has been very supportive of many of our projects and while we are still developing the dedicated green fund, many administrative branches have dedicated portions of their discretionary funds to sustainability initiatives.

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[  ]

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

Energy

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

[X]

Moderate

We have been working directly with Environmental and Site Services to create a campus wide energy display system which will read building energy usage and display it in each building. This is combined with an educational program to encourage faculty and staff to save energy.  To inform this process, we conducted some research in the biggest research building on campus, monitoring energy usage patterns using passive sensors.

Food

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

[X]

Significant

We conducted a program encouraging many students not to use trays in an effort to help Sodexo switch its dining facilities to tray free (which should save 30 plus percent of food waste and have significant water savings as well). They are in the process of gathering estimates from contractors in order to make the conversion. We are also working to start a new farmers market on campus (http://farmersmarket.union.rpi.edu ) and are in the process of starting a pilot program for an innovative on site composting system. We are also working with dining services to increase the amount of local food in the dining halls and are working with grounds to manage a student greenhouse and gardening space.

 

Green Building

Examples: Design or construction policy

[  ]

Grounds and Maintenance

Examples: Green landscaping, non-toxic cleaners

[X]

None

We are starting a survey of landscaping practices and and plan on working with them much more closely in the coming semester.  We also work closely with them in the campus greenhouse.

Student Involvement

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

[X]

Significant

Last semester, we worked with some faculty in the STS department to organize and promote a speaker series which got about a hundred students at each monthly event.  We also helped EcoLogic with Earth Fest (hosting outreach for our farmers market project), which got hundreds of student passing through, organized Face the Waste, which made campus waste streams visible to all of campus. Finally, we organized a major event to update the whole campus and bring the various sustainability communities together (video at http://www.rpitv.org/productions/299-rensselaer-sustainability-view-point). Over a hundred students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and alumni participated in this event.

Transportation

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

[X]

Moderate

We have been providing support to the APO service fraternity on campus which is working to start a bike share program as well as the cycling club which is working to start an on campus bike shop and advocacy branch.  Note: Parking and transportation already runs a great subtle service for all students and provides free access to the Capital District Transportation Authority's bus system to all RPI community members.

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[X]

Moderate

We recently won second prize the NYSAR3 & Alcoa's Recycling video challenge with this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIeysg0ijSE and there by educated many on the campus about our new single stream recycling system (the video has over 1000 views already) and won 600 new recycling bins to be distributed around campus. We are now working with Environmental and Site Services to optimize distribution of recycling bins on campus and educate the community members and and maintenance staff about the new system.  We also ran Face The Waste 2010 which is an annual event during which we place large containers of waste of different kinds around campus in order to make our waste more visible to the campus and educate students about the recycling process.  Finally, we ran a recycling drive at Relay For Life and got extremely high participation from those in attendance.

Water

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

[X]

Moderate

As mentioned in the Food section, we are working with Sodexo to get them to implement Tray Free Dining in more dining halls.  This will significantly reduce water use in the dishwashing process. As part of Hey Red! Go Green, an event coordinated by the Residence Hall Association, they conducted water saving education to all freshmen in the residence halls.

Other

[  ]

 

Additional Comments

As the coordinating body for the many sustainability initiatives we, in conjunction with the Green Corps, are aware of and support all initiatives across campus.  As such, I have included many projects which various groups across campus have headed up.  Typical attendance for major sustainability events on campus is between one and two hundred people, and our mailing list reach is over one hundred students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

 

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

Hey Red! Go Green [EcoHall Challenge]

Frequency of competition

Annually

Year initiated

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

2008

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.

Residents Hall Association, Residence Life, Sodexo (Hospitality Services),

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

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?

Hey Red! Go Green, formally called EcoHall challenge is run primarily by the RPI Residence Hall Association.  During the competition, all of the residence halls compete to see who can reduce their energy usage by the most (compared to uninhabited levels) and the winning hall gets an ice cream party.  During the course of the competition, RHA members hosted a series of themed weeks devoted to educating their residents about various kinds of waste and conservation (energy, water, recycling, local food, etc.).

 

Goals of competition:

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

 

Energy conservation

[X]

Waste reduction

[X]

Water conservation

[X]

Other. Please describe

Local Food Awareness

 

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.

Unfortunately, I don't have this year's data but last year it saved roughly 20,000 kWh of electricity.

 

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?

As all incoming freshman go through this competition, they are all taught several conservation techniques and good practices right at the beginning of their time at RPI. Several other Resident oriented projects have also come out of this, including recycling initiatives, trips to the farmers market, and CFL-swaping drives.

 

Website:

 

Second competition

 

Name of competition

Face The Waste

Frequency of competition

Annually

Year initiated

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

2008

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.

Student Sustainability Task Force, Environmental and Site Services

               

Participants:

 

Students

[X]

Faculty

[X]

Staff

[X]

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?

Each year, we collect enough waste of different kinds to fill several 4X4X8 foot containers. Then display them around campus with tables containing information about the various kinds of waste and how to reduce them.  Students guess various trivia questions with regard to the waste streams then we give out recycled prizes to the best guesses.We get many on campus organizations to man the tables and distribute the information, thus increasing the total reach.

 

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

[X]

Water conservation

[  ]

Other. Please describe

Community education

 

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.

N/A- This is primarily an educational challenge aimed at increasing awareness about the new single stream recycling system.

 

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?

Got the campus talking about how much waste we produce and increased awareness of single stream recycling.

 

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?

The Student Sustainability Task Force works closely with the Student Senate (particularly the Finance, Facilities, and Advancement committee) and while we used to be a sub-committee, we have recently become an independent group.  We still work very closely together though.

 

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.

The Student Sustainability Task Force is primarily an advocacy group which coordinates many groups and projects on campus.  One of our biggest projects this year has been the creation of a Farmers Market on campus (http://farmersmarket.union.rpi.edu) to increase the availability of local, sustainable food to students, faculty, and staff.

 

Other projects are listed below:

• Composting: We are working on a pilot program for a brand new composting system which could provide easy, on site processing of campus food waste thus minimizing transportation costs and harvesting energy off of the process at the same time.

• Green Roof: the Class of 2010 has chosen to make a green roof for the union book store their class gift.  We are supporting this both financially and logistically.

• Calendar: We also work with EcoLogic to run a calendar which provides a unified place where all sustainability related events can be found: http://sstf.union.rpi.edu/SSTF/Calendar.html

• Map: Also in conjunction with ecologic, I have developed a map of location of interest around the campus: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&msa=0&msid=101232908585714550586.00047496dcea04f5acdc6&ll=42.731505,-73.681998&spn=0.015131,0.027466&z=15

• Facebook: We manage a facebook page which serves as a unified communication point to the campus about sustainability initiatives ( http://www.facebook.com/rpisstf )

• I also work closely with the local 350.org chapter to coordinate events.

 

 

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):

Note: While we do not have official affiliations as a club, we are members of the following through the institute: AASHE, USGBC, the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities, and NYSAR3's College Council (on which we will have a student representative next year).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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