• Annual Sustainability Student Survey Results

10/30/2012

In the fall of 2012, Suffolk Sustainability conducted its Third Annual Sustainability Student Survey. 

According to Campus Sustainability Coordinator Erica Mattison, "The survey provides the Sustainability Committee and the campus at large with information about where students stand in regards to sustainability.  From this year's survey we learned that many students are conserving and recycling.  There is a sense of recognition of the steps the University has taken to facilitate waste reduction, recycling, and natural resource conservation. 

"In terms of opportunities, there is widespread interest in seeing retail locations on campus increase offerings of locally grown and environmentally preferred products. Academically, the University has an opportunity to increase the number of students taking courses that focus on environmental issues so that they will be aware of important topics facing current and future populations and our planet." 

Approximately 1,000 students participated in the survey, yielding a response rate of about 30%. Participants had the chance to win prizes.

The Suffolk University Sustainability Committee is taking the survey results into consideration as it implements and suggests action items this semester and generates the annual Campus Sustainability Plan next semester.

The survey asked students what about Suffolk's environmental initiatives has made the biggest impression on them.  View a summary of the responses.

Graduate/Law Student Responses

  • 59% report that they frequently use a travel mug
  • 77% report that they frequently recycle; another 22% sometimes recycle.
  • 70% would like to see Suffolk cafes carry more locally grown foods
  • 62% would like to see Suffolk cafes carry more organic foods
  • 31% would like to see Suffolk cafes carry more vegetarian foods
  • 85% frequently turn off lights, TV, and other electronics when not in use; another 14% said they sometimes do.
  • 52% report that they became aware of Suffolk’s environmental initiatives upon taking part in this survey; another 18% became aware at orientation and another 17% at a campus visit/tour. 4% learned while researching schools and 8% while registering for classes.
  • 25% report that they have a general awareness of where the bike racks are located at Suffolk.
  • 14% have taken courses that focus on environmental issues.
  • 21% would like to see a wider selection of environmentally preferred products in the campus bookstore
  • 22% made purchases in the University Bookstore this fall and participated in the Bring Your Own Bag incentive.

Undergraduate Student Responses

  • 39% report that they frequently use a travel mug
  • 74% report that they frequently recycle (up from 51% who reported that before coming to Suffolk they frequently recycled); another 23% sometimes recycle.
  • 63% would like to see Suffolk cafes carry more locally grown foods
  • 76% would like to see Suffolk cafes carry more organic foods
  • 32% would like to see Suffolk cafes carry more vegetarian foods
  • 72% frequently turn off lights, TV, and other electronics when not in use; another 27% said they sometimes do.
  • 14% report that Suffolk’s environmental reputation played a big role in influencing them to attend Suffolk; another 32% report that it played some role
  • 42% report that they became aware of Suffolk’s environmental initiatives at orientation; another 25% became aware at a campus visit/tour; and 23% became aware while taking this survey. 6% learned while researching schools and 4% while registering for classes.
  • 47% report that they have a general awareness of where the bike racks are located at Suffolk.
  • 34% plan on taking courses that focus on environmental issues; 22% report that they already have.
  • 27% would like to see a wider selection of environmentally preferred products in the campus bookstore
  • 26% made purchases in the University Bookstore this fall and participated in the Bring Your Own Bag incentive.

This year the survey included freshmen and sophomores, who will be surveyed again next year.

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