Engagement Initiatives

Wesleyan hosts a variety of events, including Earth Month, runs a Green Office Certification program, and offers other programming, interpretive signage, media coverage, sustainability leadership opportunities.  Through these, Wesleyan strives to expand sustainability knowledge and skills and integrate sustainability into the campus culture and the residential experience, as well as in the Middletown community. Wesleyan has made strides in engaging the campus community through student internships, events, and leadership opportunities. 

The initiatives below show our strategies derived from our 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we have already accomplished. See pages 16-19 in the SAP for more details.

Contact

Jennifer Kleindienst, Sustainability Director
(860) 685-3242

What We're Working On

  • Student and Employee Engagement
    1. Include a statement of Wesleyan’s priority of sustainability in job postings 
    2. Install new sustainability initiatives signage 
    3. Build connections between students working on social justice and environmental issues
    4. Publicize Wesleyan’s STARS ratings and reports and make them accessible 
    5. Feature sustainability topics in campus and external print, digital, and social media 
    6. Integrate the Eco Facilitators program and Residential Life 
    7. Expand Green Team 
    8. Incorporate sustainability into Wesleyan Student Assembly Student Budgetary Committee (SBC) funding awards 
    9. Conduct annual in-service workshops for Residential Life student staff 
    10. Develop and pilot sustainability workshops and trainings for students, faculty, and staff 
    11. Integrate sustainability, equity, and inclusion into First Year Matters 
    12. Establish a series of annual interactive programs
    13. Connect all sustainability-related student groups with faculty or staff members
    14. Investigate methods of assessing sustainability literacy

What We've Done

  • Campus Events
    1. Develop and pilot a basic Green Office Certification Program to administrative offices 
    2. Since 2013, Wesleyan has held Earth Month during April, with a variety of events led by students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members.  
    3. For several decades, Wesleyan has organized an annual celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The 2016 theme was environmental justice, with speaker Dr. Dorceta Taylor.
  • Student Engagement
    1. Student interns work for the Sustainability Office focusing on environmental sustainability issues and their intersection with equity and inclusion:
      • Sustainability Interns manage energy conservation and the Waste Not collection/sale, as well as other sustainability-related engagement programs and events.
      • 3 Composting Interns manage the residential composting programs and dining hall food waste reduction.
      • 1 Office Assistant and 1 Summer Office Assistant does strategic planning and marketing for the Office, as well as other Office projects.
      • 16 Eco Facilitators serve as peer advisors who are paired with first-year dormitories and learn learn how to effectively encourage sustainable lifestyles.  
      • Eco Facilitators Coordinators manage the EFs program.
      • 1 Sustainable Middletown Coordinator assists the City of Middletown with projects, programming, and application to Sustainable CT.
    2. Student interns in other offices work specifically on issues of equity, inclusion, and/or sustainability:
      • 1 Dwight Green ’70 Memorial Intern coordinates efforts to facilitate dialogue, respect, and community among students from diverse backgrounds.
      • The Resource Center internships offer students a variety of ways to address intersectional issues:
        • Social and Political Activism Interns 
        • Gender and Sexuality Interns
        • Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality Interns
        • Socioeconomic Status and Disability Interns
        • Spirituality and Sustainability Interns
        • Peer Advocates for Working Students
        • Office Assistants, Office Managers, and Marketing Assistants
    3. In 2015, the Wesleyan Student Assembly spearheaded constitutional changes to make the WSA more transparent, accessible and inclusive.  The new Student Life Cluster combines the previously separate Sustainability, Finance, and Facilities Committee and Student Affairs Committee.  An  Environmental Sustainability Committee within Student Life will include liaisons to the Dining Committee, Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship, and Major Maintenance Committee.
    4. The Sustainability Office publishes a variety of pamphlets and distributes information to incoming students. New student packing lists have information on sustainable products and the Waste Not tag sale.
    5. Each year during orientation, first-year students engage in multidisciplinary discussions about a central theme and participate in a Common Moment, in which the arts are used to catalyze and embody the understanding of themes such as environmental justice, water, global climate change, or hunger.  
    6. Each year, Residential Life student staff participate in a 12-15 hour social justice training program that explores identity, inclusion and allyship.
    7. There are over 20 sustainability-related student groups focusing on farming, food and food justice, waste reduction, divestment, biking, outdoor adventure, climate change, and sustainable landscaping.  In addition, over 40 student groups are devoted to ethnic, religious, disability, and gender identity.  
    8. Residential Life has several student residences dedicated to students interested in different aspects of sustainability.
    9. In 2013 and 2014, Wesleyan ran three JouleBug competitions for students.  JouleBug is a IT company aimed at using social networking technology to help make it fun and easy to develop a culture of sustainability.

     

  • Employee Engagement
    1. The Green Office Certification Program engages office members in adopting sustainable habits to integrate sustainability into campus work culture.
    2. Since 2014, the Green Team, a group of administrative assistants and other staff members, have focused on improving the sustainability of campus offices by purchasing sustainably, reducing energy consumption, reducing waste, and fostering a culture of sustainability in their departments.
    3. Administrators and Faculty of Color Alliance is a volunteer organization that provides fellowship and support to all students, faculty, and staff, paying particular attention to the needs of the people of color in the community.
    4. Womxn @ Wesleyan actively engages faculty and staff in education, networking and mentoring processes leading to enhanced awareness, empowerment, and transformation of female-identifying people.

Contact

Jennifer Kleindienst, Sustainability Director
(860) 685-3242