Silicon Valley Sociological Review


Brooke Rose


As environmental degradation becomes harder and harder to ignore, institutions are beginning to take notice and put into place specific steps to take action. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is offering a way for higher education institutions (HEIs) to promote sustainability through participating in the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS). This report evaluates the participation in the STARS by the eight Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) schools that have an unexpired STARS rating and submitted information under STARS version 2 or later. Using publicly-available STARS data, I analyzed the scores of the AJCU institutions in the sample as well as conducted a content analysis on the descriptions of the main programs under each category in which schools are ranked.

The findings are organized by the different categories of the STARS report: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. In each section, I provide a data visualization of how each Jesuit institution in my sample compares to the others. Some standouts are Santa Clara University’s sustainability research, Loyola Marymount University's campus engagement programs, Gonzaga University's water efficiency, and Boston College’s commitment to diversity and affordability. Key recommendations include encouraging more Jesuit institutions to participate in the STARS program to indicate a commitment to sustainability and transparency, as well as investing more into academic programs with a sustainability focus.



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