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Report Card 2011

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Virginia Commonwealth 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: Virginia Commonwealth University

Date submitted: June 11, 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: Amanda Schutt

School Name: Virginia Commonwealth University

Name of student organization: Green Unity 4 VCU

Your position or title: Treasurer

 

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):

May 11, 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

[  ]

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

[X]

Significant

Gardens for Life Project

Student Involvement

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

[X]

Significant

Educational campaigns to help students make small strides towards sustainability

Transportation

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

[X]

Moderate

Bike Survey

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[X]

Moderate

Recyclemania & America Recycles Day

Water

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

[  ]

Other

[  ]

 

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

Recyclemania

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.

FMD/PPD - VCU Department of Environmental Conservation, FMD/PPD - Sustainability & Campus Sustainability Interns, Green Unity 4 VCU, MPC SGA, VCU Residential Life & Housing, VCU Building Managers, VCU Housekeeping

               

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?

Recycle Mania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over a 10-week period, VCU along with other schools report recycling and trash data, which are then ranked according to who collects the amount of recycling per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each weeks reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.  Communication by: VCU TelegRAM; VCU Department of Environmental Conservation website; VCU Sustainability Committee; Sustainability FaceBook, VCU Year of the Environment (YoE) website, VCU Division of Community Engagement’s Acts of Caring calendar.

 

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.

Week Grand Champion  weekly recycling rate (%)      2010              20091 29.18% 29.16%2 28.52% 33.05%3 22.08% 30.17%4 29.56% 30.90%5 30.67% 27.85%6 29.50% 28.64%7 26.54% 23.67%8 31.94% 34.30%9 26.10% 31.82%10 26.69% 27.26%2010 Statistics•    1,014,440 pounds of paper (507 tons)•       532,660 pounds of cardboard (266 tons)•       263,160 pounds of scrap metal (132 tons)•         74,120 pounds of computers and electronics (37 tons)•         63,640 pounds of aluminum, glass and plastic containers (32 tons)•           9,800 pounds of light bulbs and batteries (5 tons)

 

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?

VCU students have been vocal about the campus going ‘green,’ and Recyclemania is a good venue for promoting what is already recycled on campus. A competitive spirit can often be an excellent venue for raising awareness.“The various art departments and the School of the Arts in general has taken a special interest in promoting recycling and we are now more aware of the amount of paper we are using,” said junior Lauren O’Neill, who recently became an active recycler after she and her fellow graphic design classmates started to notice excess paper piling up during class. This competition has even lead students to push for personal dormitory recycling bins in their residence halls.  Yes it inspired MCV Campus Conservation Challenge.

 

Website:

http://www.recyclemaniacs.org/university_detail08.asp?ID=3442#material

 

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?

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?

This past year, the executive cabinet felt that it was important to convert the position of "Director of Major Projects" into "Director of Green Affairs". The purpose of this position was to focus on sustainability issues from the student life perspective. The Director of Green Affairs worked with student organizations with an emphasis on environmental awareness, attended meetings with administration, organized events and activities, as well as promoting sustainable efforts for the Student Government Association itself. This position is meant to offer any students resources for any inquiries of how to get involved in any sustainability efforts or how to start their own projects. MPC SGA contributed funds to: “Bayscaping” project at Trani Center for Life Sciences Building – plants and materials Vegetated Roof on Pollak Building – design fees

 

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.

Green Unity 4 VCU, student environmental group, has an ongoing relationship with the Richmond Clean City Commission "Adopt-A-Block" program. GU4VCU has now adopted two blocks in the Richmond community that cater to many VCU students: the 1100 block fo W. Grace St and the 100 block of S. Pine St.

 

GU4VCU has collaborated with the Student Government Association (SGA) external affairs branch, to work with the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association to have a neighborhood clean up. Over 70 people attended and the event has been added to the "VCU Acts of Caring" calendar which lists permanent and annual volunteer activities that anyone in the Richmond community can participate in. Green Unity 4 VCU, SGA, and VCU Goes Green (Sustainability) also collaborated to organize the Year of the Environment Student Kick-Off which was an event dedicated to contributions and leadership that universities can bring to further improve Virginia’s sustainable practices and the impact on our precious natural resources. The event brought together community members who operate organizations dedicated to greening Richmond, local vendors, student organizations around 4 seasonally-themed sustainability areas (summer=transportation and recreation, spring=gardening and composting, winter=energy conservation and recycling, fall=local foods).

 

Through VCU's relationship with Carver Elementary, 30 children attended the event and participated in a composting demonstration, electronic recycling demonstration and trash to treasure workshops and games. The event offered students opportunities to converse with various people about different projects or ideas that they could get involved with in the future. Additionally, there were many educational materials and games--at one of the GU4VCU street clean ups, volunteers collected exactly 5,044 cigarette butts that had been littered within one street block. At the event, students were offered a chance to enter a drawing to guess how many cigarette butts were collected, in order to win two bikes from a local bike shop, Richmond Recycles.

 

Additionally, for the past three years, Green Unity and VCU Goes Green (Sustainability) have organized VCU Celebrates Earth Week event, which brings together students and community members to exchange ideas and celebrate Earth Day.  The cigarette butt drawing evolved into an independent campaign called "Take a Stand! Keep Your Butt of the Ground" launched during Earth Day Celebration 2010. The campaign addressed the human, animal and environmental health risks associated with cigarette butts traveling through combined storm sewer systems to the James River. Students participated in a limbo contest to "keep their butts off the ground". In an effort to reach out to the community for Earth Day, Green Unity 4 VCU officers coordinated with the Lobs n Lessons afterschool program to host a limbo contest for the "Take a Stand!" campaign, educate kids about water conservation and participate in games and activities with recycled materials.

 

Green Unity received a grant this year to initiate a two phase stormwater awareness and management project called "Gardens 4 Life". The first phase involves replacing existing evergreen vegetation in beds at the Trani Center for Life Sciences with indigenous plants (xeriscaping or “bayscaping" aka landscaping for the Chesapeake Bay). MPC SGA contributed funding for plant and material purchase. Planting completed over three weekends by GreenUnity4VCU, a Boy Scout Troop led by an Eagle Scout awardee, Faculty, VCU Physical Plant Department (PPD).The second phase envisions the creation of a “rain gardens,” in the courtyard of the Grace E Harris Building. The rain gardens will be landscaped depressions surrounded by berms and filled with native plants. The plants will filter and clean rainwater runoff from walkways and roofs, reducing pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay. Benches arranged around the rain gardens will invite passersby to pause and reflect. Planting to be completed by GreenUnity4VCU.

 

GU4VCU also organizes monthly electronics recycling drives in an effort to reduce the amount of electronics that are typically inappropriately disposed of. Collected materials are first offered to a student organization called the Linux User Group at VCU because they resuse electronics as teaching materials for their. Anything left is sent to a local company that disassembles the electronics and tries to salvage whatever parts can be reused. These collections are open to all students, faculty and staff at both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses and have connected groups and individuals in an effort to increase awareness about issues particular to electronics recycling and disposal.

 

 

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):

American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, (ACUPCC)Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)Chesapeake Bay FoundationSierra ClubU.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)James River Green Building Council (JRGBC)Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN)

 

______________________________ 

 

 

 

School name: Virginia Commonwealth University

Date submitted: June 11, 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: Brandon Dube

School Name: Virginia Commonwealth University

Name of student organization: VCU Physical Plant

Your position or title: Campus Sustainability Coordinator Intern

 

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:

2

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

November 6, 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

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Administration

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

[X]

Significant

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[X]

Significant

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

None

Energy

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

[X]

Significant

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Food

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

[X]

Moderate

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

 

Green Building

Examples: Design or construction policy

[X]

Significant

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Grounds and Maintenance

Examples: Green landscaping, non-toxic cleaners

[X]

Moderate

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Student Involvement

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

[X]

Significant

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Transportation

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

[X]

Moderate

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[X]

Significant

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Water

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

[X]

Moderate

VCU Climate Action Plan http://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

Other

[  ]

None

 

Additional Comments

As a Campus Sustainability Intern and one of eight student members of the VCU Sustainability Committee, I was involved in the development of the VCU Climate Action Plan which is posted on the AASHE website athttp://acupcc.aashe.org/cap-report.php?id=627

 

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

Recyclemania

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.

FMD/PPD - VCU Department of Environmental Conservation FMD/PPD - Sustainability        - Campus Sustainability Interns GreenUnity4VCU MPC SGA VCU Residential Life & Housing VCU Building Managers VCU Housekeeping

               

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?

Recycle Mania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over a 10-week period, VCU along with other schools report recycling and trash data, which are then ranked according to who collects the amount of recycling per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each weeks reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.  Communication by: VCU TelegRAM; VCU Department of Environmental Conservation website; VCU Sustainability Committee; Sustainability FaceBook, VCU Year of the Environment (YoE) website, VCU Division of Community Engagement’s Acts of Caring calendar.

 

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

increased recycling rates campus wide

 

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.

Week Grand Champion 

 weekly recycling rate (%)   

 

    2009        2010

1 29.18%   29.16%

2 28.52%   33.05%

3 22.08%   30.17%

4 29.56%   30.90%

5 30.67%   27.85%

6 29.50%   28.64%

7 26.54%   23.67%

8 31.94%   34.30%

9 26.10%   31.82%

10 26.69%  27.26%

 

2010 Statistics

•    1,014,440 pounds of paper (507 tons)

•    532,660 pounds of cardboard (266 tons)

•    263,160 pounds of scrap metal (132 tons)

•    74,120 pounds of computers and electronics (37 tons)

•    63,640 pounds of aluminum, glass and plastic containers (32 tons)

•    9,800 pounds of light bulbs and batteries (5 tons)

 

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?

VCU students have been vocal about the campus going ‘green,’ and Recyclemania is a good venue for promoting what is already recycled on campus. A competitive spirit can often be an excellent venue for raising awareness.“

The various art departments and the School of the Arts in general has taken a special interest in promoting recycling and we are now more aware of the amount of paper we are using,” said junior Lauren O’Neill, who recently became an active recycler after she and her fellow graphic design classmates started to notice excess paper piling up during class. This competition has even lead students to push for personal dormitory recycling bins in their residence halls.  Yes it inspired MCV Campus Conservation Challenge.

 

Website:

http://www.recyclemaniacs.org/university_detail08.asp?ID=3442#material

 

Second competition

 

Name of competition

MCV Campus Conservation Challenge

Frequency of competition

Semesterly

Year initiated

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

2010

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.

Five professional schools on MCV (Medical College of Virginia) Campus School of Allied Health Professions School of Dentistry School of Medicine School of Nursing School of Pharmacy

               

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?

The MCV Campus Year of the Environment Committee is sponsoring the MCV Campus Conservation Challenge, January 1 - March 31, 2010. The challenge is to reduce each building's energy consumption (electricity and steam usage) and increase its recycling. The VCU Facilities Management Division will monitor and document each buildings usage month by month. $10,000 and $5,000 prizes will be awarded for the first and second place building winners. During this challenge all 14 university buildings on the MCV Campus are engaging in a friendly competition to save energy and increase recycling. Two grants will be awarded at the end of the challenge for the two buildings that demonstrated the most improvement. A $10,000 building improvement grant will be awarded to the most improved and a second $5,000 grant for the first runner-up. These awards are to be used to purchase and install additional energy improvements for the building. Not only will we have the satisfaction of helping to manage our resources more responsibly, but we may gain some improvements too.For more information, visit http://www.yearofenvironment.vcu.edu/ or contact Fay Parpart, cfparpar@vcu.edu or Joy Ware, jware@mcvh-vcu.edu. 

 

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

[  ]

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.

Energy use is being monitored by individual building (except in the cases of the Woods/Lyons and McGuire;  Massey/Goodwin and Randolph Minor; and VMI, Leigh/Grant and the Putneys where those building clusters are considered to be one entity).  Steam and electric consumption for each building are normalized by converting total usage to BTUs per square foot per month.  The results for each building will be compared to the same period last year. There will be no adjustment for weather. Because of the different building types we are comparing the building results from the current period to results from the same building last year and using a percentage improvement as the basis for scoring.  Additionally, the rate of recycling will also be tracked for each building (or clusters of buildings) as pounds per square foot. The total score for each building will be weighted 70% for energy reduction and 30% for increased recycling.

 

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?

MCV Campus Conservation Challenge    March-10    

Building                                                              Score to Date      Rank 

Samuel Putney House & Stephen Putney House 100.000     1

Virginia Mechanics Institute Buillding (VMI)             90.714      2

Strauss Research Lab                                                77.857      3

Randolph Minor Hall                                                  65.714        4

Tompikns-McCaw Library                                          62.143       5

Sanger Hall                                                                   57.143       6

Robert Blackwell Smith Building                                  53.571   7

McGuire Hall & McGuire Annex                                      49.286   8

School of Nursing Building                                           46.429   9

Leigh House & William H. Grant House                    43.571   10

Medical Sciences Building I                                         41.429   11

Lyons Dental Building & Wood Memorial Building 28.929    12

Massey Cancer Center & Goodwin Research Lab  23.929   13

Molecular Medicine Research Buillding (MSB II)        9.286    14

 

Instead of using the prize for their own building improvements, they decided to give it away. “We really didn’t expect to be the winning building,” said David Sarrett, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Health Sciences and Interim Dean of the School of Dentistry. “Because we are here to serve our students, Putney Houses’ residents thought the best use for the cash would be for the students. So we donated our prize to make the student spaces at the VMI Building more energy efficient.”The MCV Campus Conservation Challenge, the contest that the Putney Houses won, formed part of an overall effort to encourage earth-friendly behaviors in the health sciences schools. A small group of volunteers spearheaded the efforts by spending the fall and winter months promoting green activities and planning an Earth Day celebration. The celebration included a vendor fair, speakers, giveaways and cash prizes for energy improvements from the Physical Plant.  The MCV Campus Conservation Challenge, the contest that the Putney Houses won, formed part of an overall effort to encourage earth-friendly behaviors in the health sciences schools. A small group of volunteers spearheaded the efforts by spending the fall and winter months promoting green activities and planning an Earth Day celebration. The celebration included a vendor fair, speakers, giveaways and cash prizes for energy improvements from the Physical Plant.

 

Website:

http://www.vcugoesgreen.vcu.edu/

 

Third competition

 

Name of competition

Water Bottle 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.

1st year - Rhoads/Brandt Residence Hall.  The Challenge has become a Residential Life and Housing event that takes place in all residence halls now.

               

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?

Knowledge of how they were helping promote sustainable living; an aluminum water bottle at a nominal cost.

 

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

[X]

Other. Please describe

To promote responsible consumption/use of clean water, reduce the amount of plastic waste from disposable plastic water bottles, and the subsequent energy to recycle them

 

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.

Unknown reduction in energy and/or waste- 675 aluminum bottles distributed- if the average person drank four bottles of water a day (recommended) for 30 days, there is the potential of 81,000 plastic water bottles that were not disposed of during the month.  Our hope is it carried over for a lot longer than a month for many individuals who pledged.

 

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?

Have witnessed students carrying their aluminum water bottles around campus well after the 30-day commitment ended.  The water bottle challenge encouraged students to purchase reusable steel water bottles for $2 and pledge to drink only from them for 30 days. It’s an attempt to lower the number of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills. Money raised through the sale of the water bottles is being donated to www.globalwater.org and www.waterforpeople.org to promote safe water supplies in developing countries.

 

Website:

http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/Green_living_begins_at_home_VCU_residence_halls_promote_recycling

                               

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?

This past year, the executive cabinet felt that it was important to convert the position of "Director of Major Projects" into "Director of Green Affairs". The purpose of this position was to focus on sustainability issues from the student life perspective. The Director of Green Affairs worked with student organizations with an emphasis on environmental awareness, attended meetings with administration, organized events and activities, as well as promoting sustainable efforts for the Student Government Association itself. This position is meant to offer any students resources for any inquiries of how to get involved in any sustainability efforts or how to start their own projects. MPC SGA contributed funds to: “Bayscaping” project at Trani Center for Life Sciences Building – plants and materials Vegetated Roof on Pollak Building – design fees

 

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.

Green Unity 4 VCU, student environmental group, has an ongoing relationship with the Richmond Clean City Commission "Adopt-A-Block" program. GU4VCU has now adopted two blocks in the Richmond community that caters to many VCU students. GU4VCU has collaborated with the Student Government Association (SGA) external affairs branch, to work with the Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association to have a neighborhood clean up. Over 70 people attended and the event has been added to the "VCU Acts of Caring" calendar which lists permanent and annual volunteer activities that anyone in the Richmond community can participate in. Green Unity 4 VCU, SGA, and VCU Goes Green (Sustainability) also collaborated to organize the Year of the Environment Student Kick-Off which was an event dedicated to contributions and leadership that universities can bring to further improve Virginia’s sustainable practices and the impact on our precious natural resources. The event brought together community members who operate organizations dedicated to greening Richmond, local vendors, student organizations, and even elementary school children who participated in composting, electronic parts, and trash to treasure workshops. The event offered students opportunities to converse with various people about different projects or ideas that they could get involved with in the future. Additionally, there were many educational materials and games--at one of the GU4VCU street clean ups, volunteers collected exactly 5,044 cigarette butts that had been littered within one street block. At the event, students were offered a chance to enter a drawing to guess how many cigarette butts were collected, in order to win two bikes from a local bike shop, Recycles. Additionally, for the past three years, Green Unity and VCU Goes Green (Sustainability) have organized VCU Celebrates Earth Week event, which brings together students and community members to exchange ideas and celebrate Earth Day.  Green Unity received a grant this year to initiate a two part phase "Gardens 4 Life" project. The first phase involves replacing existing evergreen vegetation in beds at the Trani Center for Life Sciences with indigenous plants (xeriscaping or “bayscaping). MPC SGA contributed funding for plant and material purchase. Planting completed over three weekends by GreenUnity4VCU, Eagle Scout Troop, Faculty, VCU Physical Plant Department (PPD).A later second phase envisions the creation of a “rain gardens,” in the courtyard of the Grace E Harris Building.The rain gardens will be landscaped depressions surrounded by berms and filled with native plants. The plants will filter and clean rainwater runoff from walkways and roofs, reducing pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay. Benches arranged around the rain gardens will invite passersby to pause and reflect. Planting to be completed by GreenUnity4VCU.GU4VCU also organizes monthly electronics recycling drive in an effort to reduce the amount of electronics that are typically inappropriately disposed of. They send them to a local company that disassembles the electronics and tries to salvage whatever parts can be reused. Past events have been very successful, it is something that students, faculty, and staff can collectively learn from and contribute to.

 

 

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):

Presidential Climate Committment, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education,Chesapeake Bay Foundation,Sierra Club,U.S. Green Building Council

 

List of VCU Sustainability-related articles for FY 2009-2010:

 

Sustainability

May 3, 2010  VCU Medical Center Cafeteria Going Green  http://www.vcuhealth.org/news/?sid=1&nid=127

April 22, 2010  VCU Striving to Become a Model for Sustainability http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/VCU_Striving_to_Become_a_Model_for_Sustainability

Feb 26, 2010  VCU President Michael Rao Signs National Climate Commitment http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/VCU_President_Michael_Rao_Signs_National_Climate_Commitment

Nov 24, 2009  VCU “Dumpster Dive In” encourages recycling    http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3157

Oct 23, 2009 VCU hosts Greening Virginia Universities and Colleges Conference http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3114

Oct 19, 2009 ‘Green’ living begins at home: VCU residence halls promote recycling, waste reduction and energy efficiency http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3101

Oct 8, 2009 VCU’s ‘green’ efforts are paying off http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3086

September 2009 Video: Learn about green initiatives now going on at VCU http://www.yearofenvironment.vcu.edu/2009/09/video-learn-about-green-initiatives-now-going-on-at-vcu.html

Aug 24, 2009  New MCV Campus Steam Plant solar panels help VCU go “Green”   http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3022

 

Year of the Environment

Apr 22, 2010  Celebrating Earth Day: MCV Campus activities draw a crowd  http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/Celebrating_Earth_Day_MCV_Campus_activities_draw_a_crowd

Nov 18, 2009  VCU Student “Year of the Environment” celebration http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3149

Nov 5, 2009 VCU students to kick off Year of the Environment celebration http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3122

Oct 2, 2009 VCU kicks off Year of the Environment http://www.news.vcu.edu/vcu_view/pages.aspx?nid=3077

Sept 17, 2009 VCU E-Festival to Address Energy, Environment and Community Engagement http://www.news.vcu.edu/news.aspx?v=detail&nid=3050

Sept 14, 2009  Year of the Environment (website) - inaugural    http://www.yearofenvironment.vcu.edu/

 

VCU Rice Center

Sept 22, 2009 Rice Education Building wins “Project of the Year” in design awards http://www.news.vcu.edu/news.aspx?v=detail&nid=3060

March 27, 2009   Walter L. Rice Education Building receives platinum level LEED certification – the first in Virginia http://blog.vcu.edu/rice/2009/03/walter_l_rice_education_buildi.html

 

LEED Buildings

Apr 16, 2010  VCU’s Perkinson Building Receives Top Award for Going Green http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/VCUs_Perkinson_Building_Receives_Top_Award_for_Going_Green

Jan 30, 2010 VCU opens new Cary Street Gym http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/education/article/VCUU11_20100110-213003/316675/

Jan 15, 2010 VCU Welcomes Back Students with Four New Facilities http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/VCU_Welcomes_Back_Students_with_Four_New_Facilities

Dec 14, 2009 VCU to Launch New School of Medicine Building Project http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/New_VCU_School_of_Medicine_Education_Building_Project_Launched

Dec 11, 2009  VCU to Launch New School of Medicine Building Project  http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/VCU_to_Launch_New_School_of_Medicine_Building_Project

June 17, 2009  VCU Dedicates Third Dental School Building    http://www.news.vcu.edu/news.aspx?v=detail&nid=2962

April l4, 2009   VCU Opens Molecular Medicine Research Building http://www.news.vcu.edu/news.aspx?v=detail&nid=2896

 

VCU Renovation & New Construction

http://www.students.vcu.edu/construction/

Cary Street Recreation Complex 

Jonah L. Larrick Student Center 

MCV Campus Recreation Center

New School of Medicine Building – Pre Schematic Design Presentation http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/curriculum/building/documents/vcu_new_som.pdf

 

 

______________________________ 

 

 

 

School name: Virginia Commonwealth University

Date submitted: July 8, 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: Roberto Celis

School Name: Virginia Commonwealth University

Name of student organization: Student Government Association

Your position or title: Vice 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:

80

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

[  ]

Administration

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

[  ]

Climate

Examples: Climate action plan, greenhouse gas emissions inventory

[X]

Significant

Asked the new University President to sign onto the President's Climate Commitment and he did so.

Endowment

Examples: Proxy voting guidelines, investment advisory committees

[  ]

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]

Significant

Attended all food advisory meetings with Aramark, and always looked for ways to improve sustainability, the cafeteria has gone trayless, started a program of returnable boxes from take out and is looking at local farms to purchase more food from.

 

Green Building

Examples: Design or construction policy

[X]

Significant

passed a bill which allocated $20,000.00 to the construction of a green roof

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

Have members on the Sustainability Committee. Allocated over $10,000.00 to Green Unity 4 VCu a student club to host a year of the environment kickoff, also cohosted the Earth Day Celebration.  We are also in the process of creating a Green Affairs committee in the Senate.

Transportation

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

[X]

Waste Reduction

Examples: Recycling, composting,
reducing consumption

[X]

Moderate

passed a bill which allocated $20,000.00 to the construction of a green roof

Water

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

[X]

Moderate

Passout over 250 reusable waterbottles as well as talked to students about the importance of water reduction

Other

[  ]

 

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?

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?

We have a Director for Green Affairs position as well as a Deputy Director in the Executive Branch. The Senate has a sub-committee that looks at recycling possibilities.  The Senate is also looking at implementing a Green Committee.

 

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 created and administered a survey to ask for a green fee added to students University fee. After collecting the data the Senate passed a Bill which recommended a $10.00 fee per semester per student.  The SGA President signed it and proposed to the University Administrators they rejected it this year but are interested in the initiation of the program soon. We led more paint the town green initiatives, where we go into surrounding communities and clean the streets with the local residents. We also pushed for a Green Roof on campus which we are now getting and gave $20,000.00 from the student fees rollover fund.  We also accepted a grant request for $15,000.00 from Green Unity 4 VCU to do a bayscaping project.  We are working on a system to make more textbooks available online.  We also ran a soccer tournament where the motto was "My game is sustainable".  All shirts where purchased from a local store and where recycled and organic cotton.  All food came from local restaurants, and all other materials were purchased locally and as environmentally friendly as possible.

 

 

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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