St. John’s Students Travel to Guatemala to Provide Medications for Community

St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences students were able to travel to Nueva Santa Rosa, Guatemala last October with the Glen Falls Medical Mission Foundation thanks to the generosity of several alumni. The students “established and operated a one-week makeshift medical clinic in an underserved community near Guatemala City.” During the trip, led by assistant professor Chung-Shien Lee, students arranged a functional pharmacy with donated supplies.

The trip proved to be a major eye-opener for students and changed their views on healthcare access. A student noted that “an 81 year old woman traveled six miles at 3 AM to get medications for herself and family members who were currently sick.” Students heard numerous stories similar to this woman’s, which set the reality that so many people are suffering from such treatable ailments. Students returned to the US with a recognition of how blessed the US is to have access to these medications. Students explained how attending this trip reaffirmed their commitment to the Vincentian mission to serve.

To read more about St. John’s service in Guatemala, visit St. John’s news.

Kudos to New Catholic Fair Trade Universities

Congratulations to Rockhurst University, University of Dayton, and St. John’s University for becoming Fair Trade Certified Universities during the past academic year!

Rockhurst University became the first Fair Trade University in Missouri in November. After years of hard work by the Rockhurst University Fair Trade Initiative raising awareness on campus, students are thrilled to be the first in the state. Gerald Moench, the University’s chief financial officer, commented that “it’s a reminder to our University community to always strive to move forward with ethics and our Jesuit commitment to social justice in mind.”

University of Dayton celebrated their designation as a Fair Trade University with a reception at the campus bookstore and a video documenting the event.

St. John’s University became a Fair Trade University in March. Executive vice president for Mission, Reverend Bernard M. Tracey, C.M., connects this resolution with University identity, saying “We are called as a Vincentian institution not only to respond to the needs of those marginalized in society, but to study, research and provide solutions to the root causes of poverty.”

To learn more on how your institution can become Fair Trade Certified, visit the Fair Trade Campaigns website.  To learn more about Fair Trade at ACCU institutions, visit our new webpage at www.accunet.org/FairTrade

Catholic Colleges Featured on Sierra Club’s Cool School’s List

Ten Catholic colleges and universities were featured as 2016 Cool Schools in Sierra Magazine. This list measures colleges in their sustainability efforts in energy, investments, co-curricular, food, innovation, academics, planning, purchasing, transport, waste, and water. Colleges reported their programs and initiatives through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a program of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Schools included are Loyola University of Chicago (featured in the Top 20 Cool Schools), Aquinas College, Creighton University, Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Saint Louis University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, St. John’s University, and Villanova University.

Congratulations to the colleges on their sustainability initiatives!

Catholic Colleges Make List of US Eco-friendly Schools

Wondering how your campus measures up in sustainability and energy conservation? Perhaps your school was one of the eleven Catholic colleges and universities featured in a recent Sierra Club ranking of the top ‘cool schools’!

To determine the rankings, the Sierra Club administered a survey to a wide range of higher education institutions in the U.S. The responding schools were then ranked according to a long list of criteria, including co-curricular activities, energy, investments, innovation, academics, and more:

Depending on their responses to the questionnaire, schools were then given a score in a 1000 point system and ranked accordingly. The eleven Catholic colleges ranked included:

  1. Santa Clara University (no. 50)
  2. University of San Diego (no. 69)
  3. Loyola Marymount University (no. 81)
  4. Aquinas College (no. 95)
  5. St. Louis University ( no. 100)
  6. St. John’s University (NY) (no. 102)
  7. Gonzaga University (no. 109)
  8. Villanova University  (no. 110)
  9. University of Dayton (no. 127)
  10. Creighton University (no. 138)
  11. Saint John’s University (MN) (no. 146)

Based on the criteria for the rankings, these eleven schools are officially ‘cool schools’! The Sierra Club reminds us that it is both important to celebrate success but remember that there is more work to be done:

“Our results  suggest that while many universities are making admirable progress, no school has yet attained complete sustainability. In 2015, the top-rated university scored 859.75 out of a possible 1,000 points, indicating much work completed but also room for improvement.”

Want to learn more?  A recent National Catholic Reporter article featured some such progress at the Catholic colleges and universities on the list.

What is your campus doing to promote sustainability and environmental justice? Let us know!