LU Insider

Kelsey McCormick

Author: Kelsey McCormick

Lessons Learned – Faculty and Staff survey regarding COVID-19

We have all had to make significant adjustments to how we do our jobs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from how we prioritize tasks to how we communicate and collaborate with colleagues. President Burstein and your colleagues on the President’s Cabinet invite your feedback on the university’s response to COVID-19 and to hear about the innovative approaches to work you have discovered.

Take the Survey.

LU Achieves Silver in AASHE STARS ranking and works to reduce waste

As you may have heard, Lawrence has achieved a silver ranking from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). You can see the full report here. This ranking is a reflection of engagement in sustainability efforts across all campus departments. The Sustainability Steering Committee strives to further improve Lawrence’s performance in the next 5 years as detailed in the sustainability strategic plan for operations.  

Shortly after the committee was created in 2017, one identified area of weakness was our waste minimization and diversion efforts. We’ve been working towards improvement in the past few years by establishing centralized collection areas using durable, clearly marked containers in each campus building. Last fall recycling bins were added to all student rooms. This year we replaced a dozen dumpsters with two large compactors to handle waste for parts of the campus east of Lawe street. These containers are emptied every few weeks rather than every day, saving wear and tear on campus roads, fuel, and money. A student group, the Lawrence University Environmental Organization, has taken the lead in establishing compost collecting in the major residence halls and many other campus spaces. SLUG and the Food Recovery Network help divert tons of kitchen waste and unserved food from the landfill as well. That said, we still have work to do.

This year we’ve embarked on a campaign to reduce printing of posters, flyers, brochures, and similar items on campus. Each administrative department has been asked to reduce their printing through the print shop by 5%. This effort has most noticeably been led by the conservatory, which has moved to digital programs for most performances. We can build on this success by taking up the challenge of reducing our office printing. Across campus we consume more than 2.5 million pages of copy paper a year. Most of this printing takes place in the academic realm. We therefore ask each instructor to think of ways to reduce printing in their courses by 5%. To help with this goal, Moodle guru Arno Damerow has prepared a short video on how to use Moodle to collect, grade, and return students’ work (it will open as a download in your internet browser).  Our colleagues at the library have indicated that we are posting more readings online rather than on reserve, which has resulted in more student printing. We realize that some readings do need to be printed, so we suggest indicating on the syllabus or verbally which readings should be printed for use in class and which readings can be read online. Since the students now have a free-print quota of 1000 double-sided copies a year, efforts on the instructor side to reduce printing will help students stay within their limit and avoid incurring extra expense.

Once again we’d like to reiterate our thanks to the entire campus community in helping with our sustainability efforts. Stay tuned for updates on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day celebration.

Seeking Climate Confessions

Your Sustainable Lawrence University Update


Friday, October 18 at 7:30pm
Mead Witter Room Warch
Lawrence’s Sustainability CA’s will be hosting a game show titled “Get RCT’D” where students will be given items to either Recycle, Compost, Trash, or Donate.

What we’re doing:

Climate Confessions
Modeled after NBC’s Climate Confessions: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change? Greenfire is collecting climate confessions for the Lawrence community. What actions do you feel most guilty about that are contributing to the climate crisis? Suggested solutions will be shared with the community. *Responses are anonymous.

Submit your response: Greenfire Climate Confessions

October is Campus Sustainability Month

Your Sustainable Lawrence University Update

October is campus sustainability month. Mark your calendars with these events and look for additional information on the digital display boards starting October 1!

  • October 2 The SEQUEL: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilization? Documentary screening, Warch Cinema, 7pm
  • October 6-12 – Green Room Certification. Contact your CA to have your room certified
  • October 21 – Meatless Monday. Try the vegetarian or vegan options in Andrew Commons.
  • October 23 – Bring your own mug day. Get a discount on your morning coffee (you can actually do this every day!)

What we are doing:
This summer 8 students were doing sustainability work on campus. Learn more about their projects here.

2019 Sustainability Annual Report Highlights

Sustainability is about living environmentally responsible lives so that we, and future generations, can live healthy and thriving lives on a healthy and thriving planet. Lawrence is working to do its part. Check out the awesome progress that was made in the past year in this quick summary of our annual report for sustainability. 

  • Lawrence was ranked as a top performer (8th) in AASHE’s Sustainable Campus Index for the category of Wellbeing and Work. Thank you to our HR and Wellness Services colleagues for all that you do! 
  • The Sustainability Steering Committee developed a sustainability strategic plan for operations, setting goals to be achieved by 2025. 
  • A new washing machine in the Wellness Center with a more efficient spin cycle has decreased drying time from 45 to 20 minutes. 
  • Bon Appetit eliminated plastic bags in the café and corner store and has also eliminated plastic straws. 
  • The Lawrence University Environmental Organization, a student organization, has created a collection system for compost in the major residence halls. Compostable material is collected by club members and brought to SLUG weekly. 
  • The hand dryers in the Warch Camus Center were calculated to save 330 rolls of paper towel and $3,660 last year. 
  • Lawrence became certified as a Bee Campus USA. Have you seen the demonstration hive in the Campus Center? 
  • A student project brought 9 goats to campus to munch away at invasive species in the campus garden, SLUG. 
  • 17 pounds of leafy lettuce and basil were harvested from Lawrence’s Flex Farm, a student-led project made possible by the Student Sustainability Fund. 

We are excited to start this new academic year-with a focus on waste reduction, including paper reduction, and decreasing our waste contamination rate. 

Sustainable Lawrence Webpage:

9/14/19 RENEW Wisconsin Bike Ride

Your Sustainable Lawrence University Update


RENEW Wisconsin’s annual Ride with RENEW bike tour highlights some of Wisconsin’s leading renewable energy installations while raising money to support RENEW’s ongoing work to protect and defend renewable energy in Wisconsin. On September 14, 2019, riders will travel on bicycle to visit the innovative renewable energy facilities in Appleton, WI.  Stops will include the microgrid at Bubolz Nature Preserve; solar at Evergreen Credit Union, Heckrodt Nature Preserve, and Petit & Dommershausen Law Offices; the wind turbines at Essity; geothermal at RiverHeath; and hydropower at Vulcan Street Hydro Plant. This year’s event will also include an electric vehicle ride and drive. 

What we’re doing: 

  • Be on the lookout for composting bins coming back to the residence halls! 
  • Check out the new Flex Farm in Andrew Commons. 17 pounds of leafy lettuce and basil were picked during the first harvest! 

Green New Deal Town Hall

Your Sustainable Lawrence University Update


Green New Deal Town Hall
Saturday, May 18th, 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Cinema, Warch Campus Center

The event is a town hall in which students will discuss and advocate for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey’s Green New Deal, a 10-year plan to mobilize the U.S. towards 100% renewable energy while creating millions of good, high-wage jobs. This event is part of the Sunrise Movement, an organization of young people who are committed to bringing climate change to the forefront of the American consciousness.

This event is hosted by Greenfire, a group of Lawrence students committed to environmental political activism and sustainable living. Community members, staff, and students from all political backgrounds and walks of life are invited to attend and learn from each other.  

What we’re doing:

  • LU Food Recovery Network and Bon Appetit are partnering up to expand the Weigh the Waste program. Be on the look out for this team effort which will involve weighing food waste from Andrew Commons 3 times per week. Learn more about the Food Recovery Network as a national organization here.
  • Keep an eye out for the demonstration beehive that is going up outside the south-facing windows on the 4th floor of the Warch Campus Center. This project will contribute to research by the students in Professor Del Toro’s lab and will serve as a unique way to educate the Lawrence community of the importance of pollinators!

Plant seeds, befriend bees

Your Sustainable Lawrence University Update


  • Volunteer at Riverview Gardens. Saturday, May 4 from 9am-12pm. Sign up via GivePulse
  • Pollinator Planting Party @ Heckrodt. Saturday, May 11 from 11am-1pm. Free dessert and coffee! Sign up via GivePulse 

What we’re doing:

Congratulations to the residents of Hiett Hall! You are the winners of the 2019 Carbon Emission Reduction Challenge. Campus Life staff in your building will help in coordinating a celebration in your honor!

Earth Week 2019

Your Sustainable Lawrence University Update

The first Earth Day came to life on April 22, 1970, on college campuses across the United States. In 1970, Gaylord Nelson, a former Wisconsin senator and environmentalist, proposed a day of teach-ins to raise awareness of environmental problems. The proposal was met with overwhelming support and the first Earth Day was born.

Lawrence honors Earth Day with a week of programs and activities from April 16-23. Visit for a full list of events.

Other Upcoming events:

SLUG Spring Volunteer Hours have been posted. No gardening experience is necessary. All are welcome.
Mon: 8-10am & 2-3:45pm
Tue: 8-11am & 12-2pm
Wed 2-3:30pm
Thu: 1-2pm
Fri: 10-11:30am & 3-4:45pm
Sat: 12-1pm