As soon as new, incoming students arrive on campus for Orientation, they are asked to brainstorm ideas on how they might have a positive impact on the environment. What can they do about global warming? What can they do to reduce their carbon footprint? This is the task set for 18 teams of BVU's entering class during Orientation.
Students work with their University Seminar "team" to work on the Global Footprint Project, which is designed to help set the academic tone for BV’s Orientation program during the days just prior to the start of the academic year. The centerpiece of the first-year program at BV is University Seminar, a four credit-hour class designed for incoming students. Every Seminar has a global focus, based on the particular disciplinary interests of the faculty member.
Six hours are allotted during Orientation for each section of University Seminar to prepare a skit, poster presentation, video, powerpoint, etc. that proposes how the university (or individual students) might reduce its/their carbon footprint. Teams are asked to prepare a detailed action plan to implement their project, which would be funded by the university. Projects are then judged by the university’s vice presidents in sectional competitions. Winners move forward to the final competition, which is judged by the president of the university.
One of the winners was the "Bottles for Beavers" project, which organized the distribution of 750 refillable stainless steel water bottles free to students, faculty, and staff as a way to discourage the use of throwaway plastic water bottles.