Got the Grades?

October 12, 2009 by Kristina Medley NMSU Round Up

green-report-card-3122563217-12oct09-webNMSU received “C-” on green report card

New Mexico State University received a “C-” on the College Sustainability Report Card, raising questions and causing student leadership to plan ahead for the next report card.

Cameron Bruns, communications fellow for the Sustainable Endowments Institute, said 300 colleges and universities across the United State and Canada with the largest endowment funds, and 32 other schools that requested to be included, were graded on nine categories, which made up an overall grade for each institution.

Bruns said only 27 of the 332 schools received an “A-,” the highest grade given this year. However, Bruns said she did not think the dwindling economy had a large impact on the grades.
“Last year, before the economic downturn, only 15 schools [received an ‘A’],” Bruns said. “We’ve still seen major improvements in full green projects.”

Bruns said one possible reason for the grade could have been the lack of response from student leadership, resulting in a “D” for student involvement. Bruns said the Sustainable Endowments Institute sends surveys to student leaders and administration and the survey results affect the grade of the institution.

Travis Dulany, Associated Students of NMSU president, said he never received a survey, but it is possible that a lack of communication between previous and current ASNMSU staff caused the surveys to become lost. Dulany said he plans to prepare a contact list for ASNMSU leaders for next year and to include a contact for a representative from the College Sustainability Report Card office.

“I think it’s important to get outside [opinions] on how we’re doing sustainability-wise,” Dulany said.

Dulany said he was a little surprised by a few of the individual grades for NMSU. Dulany said since NMSU has a smaller operating budget than most other universities and is making efforts to go green, reduce the carbon footprint of the school and reduce waste, he thought the grade would be higher.

“I thought the grade for administration would have been an ‘A’ because of the hard work the administration is doing [this year],” Dulany said.

The College Sustainability Report Card at http://www.greenreportcard.org

The College Sustainability Report Card

Two years ago, ASNMSU lobbied for the Recyclemania program and received $55,000 for it, Dulany said. ASNMSU is in the experimental stage of finding ways to help NMSU save energy on campus buildings students use and for which students help pay utilities, Dulany said.

Bruns said the College Sustainability Report Card 2010 was the fourth annual report completed by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. A new Web site, www.greenreportcard.org, features a map of school locations and the ability to compare grades Bruns said. The Web site was launched Wednesday, Bruns said.

The University of New Mexico received an overall grade of a “B” on the green report card.


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