Breakout Session III, Saturday, 1-1:50 pm

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Bemidji State University's Wellness Model for Sustainability, Erika Bailey-Johnson & Anna Haynes, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 236

For the greater part of a decade, Bemidji State University has used a unique interpretation of the traditional model for sustainability. Instead of only considering the traditional factors of the triple bottom line (environment, society, and economy), BSU students, faculty, and staff adopted a model inclusive of a wellness component and Indigenous sense of place. The BSU Sustainability Office actively involves itself in theater productions, Indigenous programming, physical wellness, mental health support, racial equity-building, and so much more. Join us for discussion surrounding the process of adopting this new model as well as strategies for implementing similar projects and programs.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


Building Resilience through Community Partnerships, Anna Carlson & Jordan Lutz, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 133

This presentation will discuss how Bemidji State University became the first college within the Minnesota State system to sign the Second Nature Climate Commitment. Taking cues from the trail blazing work done by the students, staff and community members in Morris, Minnesota; members of the Bemidji Community have started to more intentionally integrate climate adaptation strategies with existing carbon mitigation efforts. Inspired by student leadership on climate action, BSU administration decided to take the next step and sign Second Nature’s Climate Commitment this past April. One unique experience we will share is how we are working to bring together a dispersed, rural, and diverse population together to create shared understanding of what a Resilient Community looks like for the Greater Bemidji Area. Join us for conversation on how this process took place, and how our vision for campus community collaborations is leading our current sustainability work.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life on Land, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


Making Student Comfort a High Priority, Sara Phillips & Becky Alexander, LHB

Location:  Weitz 132

Like the ADA, sustainable design has evolved from a cutting-edge principle to standard practice among most architects and engineers. Unfortunately, what can be lost in the process is the importance of occupant comfort for students, faculty, and staff at higher education facilities. However, “comfort” can be difficult to define due to the diversity of occupants and a wide array of influences. Today, top architects and engineers use the WELL Building Standard to address the challenges of lighting and glare, thermal comfort, acoustics, and air quality within the built environment. This presentation will provide background information on WELL and a summary of the benefits to a holistic approach to the design process.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production


Designing for Student Wellness with the WELL Building Standard, Sara Phillips & Becky Alexander, LHB

Location:  Weitz 132

A person’s physical and social environment is the largest determinant of their health, more important than lifestyle, medical care, or genetics. On college and university campuses, buildings and landscapes play a critical role in student wellness and success, from ensuring the air quality supports optimal cognitive performance to providing restorative spaces to help relieve mental fatigue and stress. So how can campus and building design help students thrive?

This session aims to answer this question through the lens of the WELL Building Standard, a globally-adopted building certification program that incorporates strategies ranging from sound mapping and access to nature to inclusive bathroom design. In addition to providing background information on WELL and highlighting WELL Features that are especially relevant in the higher education setting, the speakers will explore the synergies and tension between sustainability and wellness strategies. Participants will leave with a stronger understanding of how the built environment impacts health and performance and armed with ideas for wellness initiatives on their campuses – whether pursuing full WELL certification or simply implementing a best practice or two.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Quality Education


Rural Resiliency Assessments and Unnatural Disasters, Benjamin Newton, Central Community College

Location:  Weitz 230

We will highlight the differences in rural and urban campuses in terms of the resilience assessment; which includes open space, small and family-run businesses, low numbers of staff in municipal and non-profit organizations, a heavy reliance on agriculture and tourism sectors closely tied to climate, lack of public transportation infrastructure, lack of tools and resources, and a strong sense of community. While there are common elements to resilience at any institution, the diverse political and economic landscape for campuses in rural regions of the US is often very different from that of urban or coastal areas. Minor changes in very large land management areas make a large overall impact on the region to be resilient to unnatural climate disasters.

Rural colleges/universities can be a great resource in the community to convene stakeholders in large rural land management districts to accelerate climate action crisis adaptation to help meet the needs of underserved impacted residents. We will describe responses to diverse unnatural disasters of extreme weather and how pre and post resiliency planning partnerships will benefit campus and community resilience in the future. When less than 20% of the population manages 95% of the land in the United States, having higher education institutions as a partner rather than an expert manager helps facilitate proactive partnerships in rural communities. We will discuss how we identified assets, vulnerabilities, and initial indicators of resilience both on campus and in the surrounding communities.

We will discuss opportunities and next steps from the assessment process including improving emergency preparedness, creating joint partnerships between the college and local organizations and city departments, and improving climate change education options.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic growth, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Life on Land, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


E-Bikes: Introducing Sustainable Transportation to Rural Campuses, Maddie Happ, University of Minnesota, Morris

Location:  Weitz 230

The UMN Morris Office of Sustainability (OOS) has been working for 2 years to implement an electric bike program on our campus. The OOS identified limited access to transportation as a major challenge facing our rural university. Our goal was to find a sustainable alternative transportation option for Morris students. Through partnerships with the Regional Fitness Center and the Morris Campus Student Association, this e-bike pilot program has officially come into fruition. Morris is now the first campus within the U of M system to have a university-owned electric bike program. This presentation will engage in a conversation on the challenges faced when implementing innovative sustainability programs on rural campuses as well as the ability an individual on a small campus has to make an impact.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Cities and Communities


Interfaith Engagement for Climate Action and Advocacy, Brian Campbell, Savannah Henning, and Megan Beuter, Central College

Location:  Weitz 231

We know sustainability challenges are not just technical but deeply human, rooted in our most fundamental values and identities. Too often, however, our sustainability initiatives are disconnected from religious organizations at our schools and in our communities that engage these deepest beliefs and practices. This session explores how we can more effectively integrate interfaith engagement into our campus sustainability strategies.

Students and staff from Central College in Pella, Iowa will share lessons learned from several years of interfaith sustainability efforts both on campus and beyond. Central has a long history of faith-based social activism, and we have recovered this history as an important foundation for present-day sustainability initiatives. Campus religious groups now integrate sustainability commitments into their regular service trips, utilizing reclaimed building materials in home construction projects. Collaboration between student sustainability and religious organizations has expanded participation in both.

We have also developed connections between the college and diverse faith communities locally and across Iowa through a common commitment to climate justice. Through a partnership with Interfaith Power & Light, a team of students researched climate actions in faith communities statewide. This informed a series of advocacy workshops across Iowa. These workshops empowered students and other citizens of faith to support climate legislation through letters, lobbying, and visits to the state capital and to Washington, D.C. Most recently, this work culminated in an interfaith conference for Iowa college students focused on faith, climate change, and political advocacy, in the months prior to the 2020 presidential caucus. At Central's campus and across the state, this interfaith engagement in sustainability has fostered unlikely relationships, challenged stereotypes, and established common ground for climate action.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


 

Campus Utilities Transformation Start Today, Lee Tapper, MEP Associates

Location:  Weitz 233

For most Upper Midwest College and University Campuses, 40% to 50% of their carbon emissions comes from the central utilities feeding the HVAC equipment in each of the buildings. The next closest cause of emissions is a combination of lighting, plug, and process electrical loads accounting for 35% to 40% of their annual CO2e. Campus Sustainability and Facilities personnel are dealing with legacy utilities infrastructure and approaches. They are desiring to redirect this ship into lower carbon-emitting waters in order to take an increasing bit out of this significant contributor to the campus carbon footprint. However, the ship has been steaming along with a heading and has a great deal of historical, political, and financial inertia making it appear to be very difficult to redirect. Once the ship starts charting a new course then its natural inertia will be working in the campuses favor. This presentation will examine strategies that can start to stir the campus utilities toward a transformational course that will move the infrastructure into a low carbon future. Will inquire from the audience the three biggest obstacles to achieving deep decarbonization with campus utilities. Using various case studies, the presentation addresses these issues. Finally, the presentation will give the attendees several take away items that they can start to work toward implementing as soon as they get back on campus.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action


Key Facilities Metrics: Basic Metrics ALL Leaders Should Know to Redefine/Advance Sustainability, Sally Grans Korsh, NACUBO

Location:  Weitz 233

Five years ago, APPA and NAUCBO joined forces to create the Key Facilities Metrics survey. This is a seven-question survey that quantifies basic campus consumption issues: BTU, Electrical, Water, Waste and Carbon. The survey was started to encourage leadership to know these basic facts - just as campus leaders know the number of students or program offered at a campus. The presentation will highlight how campuses have improved consumption issues and advanced communications between facilities, sustainability, and finance offices. Many UMACS members participate – so for both those that do AND those that DO NOT will highlight benefits with results of five years of data will be discussed. The survey is open now until early December 2019 to catch data from the 2018-19 academic year. Explore the phrase - “What you don’t measure you cannot manage”. Unique about this survey is that it is open to ANY campus, and membership in APPA or NACUBO is not required. If a campus already enters data into the AASHE STARS or APPA Key Performance Indicator – then this survey is extremely simple and entering data from a sophisticated campus assists in overall results. However, if a campus does not already enter in those surveys – this is a great start to quantify your consumption issues and not all campuses can enter every one of the data points – but campuses are encouraged to answer what they can.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Partnership for the Goals


Upcycling at Carleton: Crafting a Cleaner Future, Anthony Cho, Sarah Bodansky, and Lu’anqi Chen, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 235

Upcycling is the practice of transforming used materials into high quality, functional items and art pieces, extending the lifetime of use far longer than recycling alone. At Carleton, we held an upcycling workshop where members of the community had fun being creative while also making items they would use for an extended time. We hope to continue providing upcycling spaces and events on campus as a way to educate on issues surrounding waste management while also serving as a creative outlet.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action


The Free & For Sale Frenzy: Bringing Sustainability to a Wider Audience through Fashion and Fun, Caroline Hall & Madeline Hagar, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 235

In 2018, Carleton students had an idea to establish an event based on the popular campus Facebook group called “Free and For Sale” in which students buy and sell clothes online. To facilitate the process of exchanging clothes on campus, sustainability assistants designed an event called the Free and For Sale Frenzy where students gather in a designated location to buy and sell each others’ clothes, similar to a pop-up consignment shop. The intent of this event is to provide a fun and easy way to engage in sustainability by disrupting the linear-consumption economy and promoting waste reduction through reusing clothes. Through this event, the Sustainability Office has also successfully partnered with other campus organizations including the Gender and Sexuality Center and the Center for Community and Civic Engagement to donate leftover clothes. Ultimately, the event is designed to bring sustainability efforts to a broader audience in a tangible and fun way. The Free and For Sale Frenzy has been very well-received by students and is now a recurring event that takes place twice a year.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action


The Repair Fair: Moving Carleton Towards a Circular Consumption Economy, Emma Leither & Becca Horwitz, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 235

Carleton holds an annual Repair Fair. The Repair Fair is an event open to the campus and community that encourages a culture of circular consumption on Carleton's campus by providing an opportunity for items to be fixed. This event is completely free and open to all students and community members. We invite a number of volunteer fixers, ranging from bike repairers to mechanical experts. During the event, people can drop off their items and are encouraged to interact with the fixers, learning how to fix items. This presentation will give an overview of what makes Carleton's Repair Fair so successful, and give insights into how other colleges and communities could run their own Repair Fairs.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production


Student-Managed Move Out Program at Luther College, Ann Holmes, Kim Chham, and Sean McKenzie, Luther College

Location:  Weitz 235

During the final week of the spring semester, there is a significant increase in waste generation as students vacate their dorms and return home. To address this increase of waste during “move-out” week, students and staff devised strategies of waste reduction ranging from dumpster-diving to community engagement. These student-driven efforts have resulted in a reduction of the waste produced during this week by over 56% from the benchmark set 5 years ago. The move-out strategies developed over the years include: collaborating with Winneshiek County Recycling and Luther College Facilities to increase the frequency of recycling pickups and available recycling receptacles during move-out week; employing students to sort recycling from waste; educating students on how to recycle properly; working with Decorah thrift stores and food bank to set up donation areas in each dorm; and spreading awareness about the lasting impacts of landfills. The whole project is a collaboration between community partners and the student body at Luther. This presentation will encompass the goals of the move-out initiative, the approach to running the event each year, results of waste reduction, and our hope for improvements.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production


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