Volker-Goh-Berliner-1280x960.jpeg
Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20224min
Every year, as Wesleyan students empty their rooms at the end of the Spring semester, they fill dumpsters with usable items – everything from clothing and room décor to small appliances. “There was still more waste generated than we like,” said Hayley Berliner, temporary sustainability director. “We want to divert as much as we can.” Debbra Goh ’24 and Annie Volker ’24, both eco-facilitators for Wesleyan Sustainability, have come up with an idea on how to lessen the waste. The duo will launch WesThrift at 284 High next fall, a free store for clothing and dorm essentials located in the…

beryhaddad.jpg
Olivia DrakeOctober 13, 20213min
In a new study linked to her 2021 high honors thesis, Sanya Bery '21 discovered that cities that house universities have a significant likelihood of adopting ambitious climate action plans. "It is clear that as plans become more ambitious, there is a higher concentration of university cities, and as plans become less ambitious there is a lower concentration of university cities," she said. "[These cities] efforts will be critical to the world’s effort to combat climate change." Bery, who majored in government and environmental studies, is currently collaborating with Mary Alice Haddad, John E. Andrus Professor of Government, on a…

sustainability_simi-760x515.jpg
Olivia DrakeApril 27, 20203min
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Wesleyan's Sustainability Office led a virtual WesFest session to introduce Class of 2024 admitted students and their families to the office. Several Eco Facilitators and Sustainability Interns from the Wesleyan Sustainability Office, and members of the Wesleyan Green Fund and other environmental sustainability groups on campus shared information on the sustainability scene at Wesleyan. There are currently a total of 16 Eco Facilitators, two Eco Facilitator coordinators, five compost interns, three sustainability coordinators and one Sustainable Middletown intern. Sustainability Director Jen Kleindienst explained the office's three main purposes:…

starssilveraward-760x540.png
Olivia DrakeApril 13, 20202min
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recently recognized Wesleyan University for completing the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting process and earning a STARS Silver rating. STARS measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. "We primarily complete the STARS evaluation to have an objective, third-party view of ways that Wesleyan could be more sustainable," Kleindienst said. "It is helpful to see how we compare to other institutions as well, and useful to be able to learn best practices from other colleges and universities." According to Wesleyan's STARS report card, the…

Editorial StaffMarch 9, 20202min
At its most recent meeting on Feb. 29, the Wesleyan Board of Trustees discussed how to better align endowment investment practices with the University’s broad sustainability efforts. In a recent campus-wide email, President Michael Roth ’78 and Board of Trustees Chair Donna Morea ’76, P’06 shared the following message: Given the climate emergency, the investment and ecological risks associated with fossil fuels and the Investment Committee’s own environmental, social and governance guidelines, there was broad agreement among trustees not to make new fossil fuel investments and to wind down current investments in this sector as quickly as possible while minimizing…

class_bees_2019_186-copy-760x459.jpg
Katie AberbachSeptember 30, 20192min
Students in a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems class recently stepped out of the classroom ... and into beekeeping suits. The buzzworthy hands-on experience was part of a field trip to an apiary in Norwich, Conn. "The course explores strategies to create a sustainable agriculture and food system," said Rosemary Ostfeld '10, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, who teaches the class. Her students have already been gaining an understanding of some of the key environmental impacts associated with our agricultural system, and read Rachel Carson's seminal Silent Spring. The purpose of the field trip on Sept. 18 "was to…

Highrise-Furniture-2019-8-copy-760x469.jpg
Lauren RubensteinJune 24, 20192min
Every summer, when campus is relatively quiet, the Facilities Team is hard at work maintaining, renovating, and upgrading all of Wesleyan’s buildings and grounds. Part of this work involves the large-scale replacement of furniture in residential facilities—a process that has recently been made more environmentally friendly thanks to a partnership with IRN, an organization dubbed “The Reuse Network.” According to Jeff Sweet, Wesleyan’s associate director of facilities management, the University has partnered with IRN for the past three years to recycle old residential furniture that is being replaced. IRN “matches the needs of charities and nonprofits throughout the world with…

Olivia DrakeJanuary 17, 20191min
This year, the Sustainability Office is partnering with Commute with Enterprise to offer vanpooling opportunities to employees. A vanpool is a group of 7–15 people traveling to work together in a minivan or a 12–15 passenger van. Vanpool groups usually meet each day at a prearranged location, such as a park-and-ride lot. Commuters pay a monthly fee that covers the van, insurance, and fuel costs. In addition, users enjoy: Reduced personal vehicle maintenance expenses Emergency ride home service Roadside assistance Eligibility for commuter rewards Reduced stress (a recent study indicates that vanpoolers experience a 21 percent lower rate of self-reported stress than…

eve_sustainability_2016-0810005627-760x507.jpg
Olivia DrakeDecember 6, 20186min
Wesleyan’s Sustainability Action Plan (SAP), developed in 2016, is a five-year plan that reflects Wesleyan’s commitment to a sustainable future. Written with input from more than 130 students, faculty, and staff, the plan establishes goals, objectives, strategies, timelines, metrics, and responsible parties in topic areas. In November, Wesleyan's Sustainability Office released its first Sustainability Action Plan Progress Report, This report highlights progress made toward SAP strategies between 2016 and 2018 in the areas of planning, engagement, health and well-being, academic operations, curriculum, buildings, dining, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water. The report also outlines Wesleyan's vision for 2021 and summarizes…

eve_eversource_10302018142-copy-760x506.jpg
Avery Kaplan '20November 19, 20181min
Wesleyan recently kicked off a strategic partnership with Eversource Energy that will support the University's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Eversource Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Morton signed an agreement on Oct. 30 before receiving a tour of the Freeman Athletic Center's recent energy efficiency upgrades. The new strategic partnership supports a three-year energy efficiency plan that will save an additional 3.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. (more…)

eve_pumpkinfest_10132018214-copy-760x499.jpg
Olivia DrakeOctober 15, 20181min
The campus and local community celebrated the fall season during the College of the Environment's annual Pumpkin Fest on Oct. 13. Held at the student-run, Long Lane Organic Farm, participants enjoyed farm tours, farm produce and baked good sales, crafts, face painting, local vendors, free veggie burgers and apple cider, a pie eating contest, prizes from Wesleyan University Press, and musical performances. Wesleyan performers included Brien Bradley ’19, Phie Towle ’20, Rebecca Roff ’20, Dreamboat (May Klug '19), Slavei, Long Lane Gourdchestra, and Anna Marie Rosenlieb [’20] Collective Dance Improv. In addition, the student groups Veg Out, Outing Club, Climate…

Cynthia RockwellOctober 12, 20188min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Recent Wesleyan News Inside Higher Ed: “Career Path Intervention–Via a MOOC” An open online course by Gordon Career Center Director Sharon Belden Castonguay, which helps young people explore their interests and career options, is featured. 2. NPR: “Midterm Election Could Reshape Health Policy” Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, explains why Democrats are “laser-focused on health care” this election season. Fowler also recently was quoted on advertising in the midterm elections in The Washington Post and USA Today, and interviewed…