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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sierra Club gives UA 24th “Coolest School” ranking in nation

Jordin O’Connor
Jordin O’Connor / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona was ranked the 24th “coolest” school by the sierra club.

The UA placed 24th in a national “Cool School” survey by Sierra Club, which gives praise to universities across the nation that practice good sustainability policies.

Universities are asked hundreds of questions that gauge how well they recycle, conserve and what sustainability courses are offered.

The survey covers a large scope of categories such as energy, transportation, waste, water, food and investments in environmental programs. Each category has a set number of points available that determine how well the school will be ranked.

The UA scored 561.04 out of a total of 894.50 points. The University of California, Davis scored first place with a total of 709.17 followed by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University.

“Sierra Club is America’s biggest and most influential environmental nonprofit,” said Avital Andrews, a Lifestyle editor for Sierra magazine.

The survey from the Sierra Club is made available to schools across the nation, to get students and schools interested in making a difference, according to Andrews.

“It sets the foundation for a culture that has these values and lifestyles in mind,” Andrews added.

The Office of Sustainability is where programs at the UA that contribute to eco-friendly behaviors or initiatives toward being a greener school are managed. They also handle third party rating systems, such as the Sierra Club’s “Cool School” survey.

According to Joe Abraham, the office’s director, there are couple of other organizations like Sierra Club that do similar surveys such as the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

The UA has many programs that teach students about keeping the environment healthy. Students for Sustainability is an organization that gets students involved in sustainability projects all over campus. They are also responsible for the Garden in the Desert by Helen Street and Vine Avenue. Their goal is to turn unused spaces on UA campus into gardens where people can grow crops and plants organically.

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