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Student walking on Ohio University Green
Sustainable Living Hub: Student Life

Sustainable Living Hub: Student Life

About Student Life

Our goal is to improve the quality of life for our students, both now and in the future, while also enhancing their economic prosperity and reducing their carbon footprint. To achieve this, we have put in place initiatives that focus on wellness, diversity, inclusion, affordability, and accessibility.

The Sustainability Project Laboratory is a repository of sustainability-driven initiatives. It provides a platform for faculty, staff, and students to pursue projects and ideas related to sustainability, with the possibility of being implemented in course projects, theses, senior projects, capstones, and more.

Search "Student Life" in the Project Database search bar on the Sustainability Project Laboratory page to find projects related to the student Life theme.

Accessibility View of Student Life Graphic

Student Life Graphics

STARS Student Life Comparison
AASHE STARS compares programs across the nation in many different categories. Ohio University reports above the national average in student life.
Ohio University Emissions Breakdown
At Ohio University, student life can be related to every type of carbon emission.

Where we are now (2017): Progress toward 2011 Sustainability Plan

  • Benchmark 19: Increase use of green cleaning products. Target met: Facilities Management has a green cleaning program.​

  • Benchmark 22: Implement recruitment strategies targeting sustainability-minded students, faculty and staff. Target met partially: sustainability student recruitment brochure created and mailed.

Moving Forward: 2017 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Goal #1

Goal 1: Support and promote student wellbeing and resilience.

  • Increase the number of faculty participants in mental health and wellbeing trainings from 0 to 10.
  • Increase the number of student participants in peer wellbeing coaching programs from 0 to 20.

Potential Strategies​

  • Create a comprehensive plan for student physical & mental health, wellness & resilience​

  • Utilize RA Outreach/Residential Life Curriculum to promote wellbeing​

  • Develop off-campus living education on wellbeing and resilience​

  • Enhance and promote OHIO Basic Needs Initiative

  • Continue OHIO Guarantee

  • Enhance and promote OHIO Signature Awards

  • Engage student employees about wellbeing and resilience​

  • Identify new & enhance existing programs & services that help students build community and feel connected​

Benefits of Goal #1 

  • Recruitment and retention of students
  • Human health
  • Increased positive reputation
  • Promotion of social justice
  • Increased student success
  • Increased proactive environmental behavior

Costs of Goal #1

  • Staff time
  • Operation and management costs 

Moving Forward: Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Goal #2

Goal 2: Prioritize sustainability, diversity and inclusion as positive student attributes in recruitment and retention efforts

  • Increase the proportion of students that have participated in cultural competency or sustainability training by some to most.
  • Maintain and increase the percentage of student diversity (calculated by students reporting their race as non-Caucasian) from 21% to the standard that matches or exceeds State of Ohio diversity standards

Potential Strategies​

  • Develop cultural competency training for students​

  • Develop sustainability training for students​

  • Encourage inclusivity as a core design principle in teaching and learning​

  • Incorporate student sustainability, diversity, and inclusion information into recruitment materials and Bobcat Student Orientation​

  • Utilize Sky Factor survey to determine if sustainability efforts affect student satisfaction

Benefits of Goal #2

  • Recruitment and retention of students
  • Reduced emissions
  • Increased positive reputation
  • Promotion of social justice
  • Increased student success
  • Increased proactive environmental behavior

Costs of Goal #2

  • Staff time
  • Operation and management costs

Hub Initiatives

Hub Supported Initiatives

Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors

The Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors is initiative started by Dr. Ryan Fogt in the spring of 2019 alongside the launch of the Sustainable Administration Hub. The Ambassadors spend Fall semester participating, promoting, and hosting events on campus promoting a more sustainable Ohio University. In the Spring semester the Ambassadors focus on outreach in Southeast Ohio. For more details, please click here.

Sustainability Network

The Sustainability Network is a student-run organization that acts as a bridge by fostering communication between Ohio University's on-campus organizations, Student Senate, the Office of Sustainability and the greater Athens community. The Sustainability Network facilitates communication among these stakeholders to maximize the impacts of sustainability-related events and increase community awareness of sustainability.

 OHIO EcoHouse

The OHIO Ecohouse is a residence at OHIO University that offers both undergraduate and graduate students the chance to lessen their impact on the Earth while living in beautiful Athens, Ohio.  Any student who is eligible to live off-campus can apply to live in the Ecohouse.  There is no expectation of previous sustainability experience, only a desire to live lighter on the Earth. For more info, please click here.

Sustainability Project Laboratory

The Sustainability Project Laboratory is a database of sustainability-related project proposals. This resource hosts projects and project ideas that can be adopted by faculty, staff, and students for course projects, capstone or senior projects, theses, and more! For more information, please click here.


Hub Related Initiatives

Women's Mentoring Program

The Women's Mentoring Program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Ohio University. In this two-semester-long program, mentees are paired with a female mentor in their personal and professional fields of interest during the fall semester. Mentors and mentees decide on the format of their mentoring relationship and the time commitment they wish to make, but all are required to meet at least once a month, face-to-face, and to attend four cohort events each year. For more information, please click here.

Campus Free Food

Cats’ Cupboard

The Cats’ Cupboard food pantry provides students access to fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable food options to help with hunger. Cats' Cupboard is located in Baker University Center, room 514. The Cats' Cupboard Food Pantry provides free food from the pantry twice a month. Pantry members can shop in person or fill out an order form to have their bags pre-packed. Access to the pantry is provided by appointment. For more information, please click here.

The Meal Bank Program

To access meals from the Meal Bank, sign up to be a member of the Cats' Cupboard Food Pantry

Community Free Food

  • Athens County Food Pantry 
    • Distributed at:
      Athens County Job and Family Services 
      • State Route 13 Millfield, OH 
  • Monday 
    • First United Methodist Church | 12:00-1:00 pm 
      • 2 S. College St. Athens, OH | 740.593.3977  
  • Tuesday 
    • Athens Church of Christ | 5:30 p.m.  
      • 785 W. Union St. Athens, OH | 740.593.7414
    • Tavolino Restaurant | 11:00 am-2:00pm 
      • 9 N Shafer Street
  • Wednesday  
    • United Campus Ministry (UCM) | 12 p.m.  
      • 18 N. College St. Athens, OH | 740.593.7301  
    • Friends and Neighbors Community Ctr. | 12 p.m.  
      • 24576 Parkersburg Rd. Coolville, OH | 740.667.0684  
  • Thursday  
    • United Campus Ministry (UCM) | 5:00 - 7:00 pm
      • 18 N. College St. Athens, OH | 740.593.7301  
    • The HIVE | 6:30 p.m.  
      • 39 W. Columbus St. Nelsonville, OH  
    • Christ Community Wesleyan Church  
      • 6275 Kenney Memorial Ln. Albany, OH  
      • Every Third Thursday | 740.698.2292  
  • Friday  
    • Good Works | Call ahead for directions | 4:30 p.m.  
      • Location of meal changes seasonally | 740.594.3339  
    • The Plains United Methodist Church | 5:30 p.m.  
      • 3 N. Plains Rd. The Plains, OH
  • Saturday 
    • United Campus Ministry | 1:00 - 3:00 pm 
      • 18 North College Street, Athens, 740-593-7301 
  • First Day of each Month
    • Food Not Bombs Athens |Free meal & other resources| 12:00pm -1:30pm at Arts West 
      • 132 W State Street

Basic Needs Initiative

Students today face increasing costs of higher education and a lack of financial support from federal grants and loans. This can lead to a large number of students lacking access to food and housing, which can prevent them from succeeding in their studies. Faculty and staff are responsible for identifying these students and connecting them with resources that can help. For further details on available resources, please click here.

OHIO Guarantee

Ohio University is committed to providing students with an affordable college experience. The OHIO Guarantee+ takes this commitment to the next level by providing a personalized graduation plan, alumni-only scholarships, and career counseling. This new program guarantees the total cost of college and a real return on investment. For more details, click here.

Green Cleaning Products

Support the use of biodegradable and Earth friendly cleaning products. Contact Steve Mack, the Director of Facilities Management, at for further information.

Other Student Groups

To see other student groups at OHIO with an interest in sustainability, search "sustainability" on BobcatConnect or click here.

Ohio University Experts on Student Life

Experts on Student Life

Name: Contact: Description:
Kyle Butlerbutlerk@ohio.eduSustainable Living Hub Coordinator
Barbara Harrisonharrisob@ohio.eduCommunity engagement; experiential learning
Cynthia Andersonandersc2@ohio.eduSocial inequality; labor wages
Edna Wanguiwangui@ohio.eduRural livelihoods and landscape change in East Africa; gender equality
Haley Duschinkskiduschins@ohio.eduHuman rights; International justice; Transitional justice
Harold Perkinsperkinsh@ohio.eduSocial justice; neoliberalization
Heather Hopgoodhopgood@ohio.eduGreen organic chemistry; student engagement; metacognition
Jieli Lilij@ohio.eduSustainable development; globalization
Mariana Dantasdantas@ohio.eduSocial justice; slavery
Mary Nallynallym@ohio.eduSocial justice; food justice issues
Michele Morronemorrone@ohio.eduEnvironmental justice; food safety; Appalachian and rural environmental health
Rachel Termanterman@ohio.eduWomen's studies; sociology of gender and identities; social inequalities; sustainable agriculture
Risa Whitsonwhitson@ohio.eduGender and development; social geographies
Stephen Scanlanscanlans@ohio.eduEnvironmental sociology; poverty/global inequality; social movements
Yegan Pillaypillay@ohio.eduDiversity and social justice issues
Micah McCareymccarey@ohio.eduDirector, Pride Center
Lisa Flowers-Clementsflowersl@ohio.eduDirector, Multicultural Center
Dr. Chris Fowlerfowlerc1@ohio.eduDirector, Women's Center
Sam Crowlcrowls1@ohio.eduAssociate Director of Sustainability