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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC)

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  1. Campus Sustainability Celebration - 10/17/22

    The 2022 Campus Sustainability Celebration was a huge success! Thank you to all who participated! The PowerPoint presentation is attached, and the agenda for the event was as follows:

    • 3-3:15 PM – Welcome
      • Jennifer Fraterrigo, on behalf of Director Madhu Khanna (iSEE)
      • Chancellor Jones
      • Vice Chancellor Susan Martinis (OVCRI)
    • 3:15 – 3:30 PM – Holistic initiatives
      • Plastic reduction (Jen)
      • Clean energy/Solar Farm 3 (Morgan)
      • Greener Campus Program (Meredith)
    • 3:30 – 4:40 PM – iCAP Team presentations
      • Energy
      • Transportation
      • Land and Water
      • Zero Waste
      • Education
      • Engagement
      • Resilience
    • 4:40 – 5 PM – Student groups (SSLC, SSC) – Jack Reicherts and Maiah Caise
      • Closing remarks by Jennifer Fraterrigo (on behalf of Madhu Khanna)
    • 5 – 6 PM – Celebration - refreshments, roundtable forum with each iCAP Team, student tabling session  
  2. Campus Sustainability Month Activities - Oct 2022

    One of our favorite times of the year is almost here… Campus Sustainability Month! Below is a highlight of major events and programs happening this October, though check out the iSEE Sustainability Calendar for the full list. This is the perfect time to take action and show your support for environmental consciousness (and the Illinois Climate Action Plan!). I look forward to seeing you across campus!

     

    • Plastic Reduction Challenge: Are you up to the challenge? From October 3–30, we provide the resources and point system to help you track your plastic use each week and find sustainable alternatives. The point system and fillable grid are attached, and additional information will be sent out prior to the start of the challenge. Take part with this fun and interactive community, and earn the chance to win a sustainability prize pack. It is easy to make a positive impact! Sign up here for the challenge.
       
    • Clothing Swap: This is the perfect opportunity to donate your clothing items and update your wardrobe! Join iSEE, SECS, and SSLC for this reduce/reuse event at the Channing Murray Foundation on Tuesday, October 11. Drop off clothes at Channing Murray the day before, or during the event itself from 10AM – 3PM.  All are welcome to drop off and/or participate (it’s free!).
       
    • Green Quad Day: Come check out the variety of student, staff, faculty, and community-led environmental groups on Thursday, October 13 from 11AM – 3PM at the Anniversary Plaza (cement area between the Quad and Union). This is a great opportunity to talk with and learn about the many sustainability efforts on campus. The rain date is October 17. If you are interested in representing your organization at a table, sign up here.
       
    • Water Taste Test: It’s 2022 – why are we still drinking from plastic bottles? Let’s put our tap water to the test and see, blindly, which water we prefer. Check out the iSEE table at Green Quad Day (above) and see if you can taste a difference between bottled water and tap! In the meantime, take our drinking water behavior survey (and win a chance for a $50 gift card).
       
    • Illini Lights Out: Join us to shut off lights in buildings around campus to save energy and reduce the environmental impact of our massive university! Meet at 5:30PM in the lobby of the Foreign Language Building on Friday, October 14 to receive brief instructions before heading out to turn off lights in assigned buildings. Come back to FLB (roughly 6:30) when you are done to turn in your clipboard, get a snack, and pat yourself on the back for helping to save so much energy! Register here, and come by yourself or bring a friend!
       
    • Campus Sustainability Celebration: All are welcome to attend this annual event on Monday, October 17 from 3-6PM at NCSA (auditorium and lobby), 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana. The first two hours will be spent in the Auditorium, where we will hear from campus sustainability leaders and from the iCAP Teams. Following the presentations (5-6 PM), each iCAP Team will have a table in the lobby/atrium area for roundtable discussion, suggestions, and a Q&A. Student environmental groups will have tables set up and together, we will enjoy conversation, light refreshments, and cake!
       
    • Trash Cleanup: Help keep our campus beautiful! On Wednesday, October 19, meet at Alma Mater at 4PM and join us to collect trash and recycling around campus until 5:30PM.
       
    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition Series: Tune in to this edition of iSEE’s ongoing Zoom series on Wednesday, October 26 from 7 – 8PM. Our host this month is Lucy Nifong, a senior in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, iSEE Communications Intern, and Vice Chair Internal of the Student Sustainability Committee. Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk, followed by a guided discussion and roundtable on Campus Sustainability Month! Sign up here.
       
    • Sustainability BINGO: Fill out the iSEE board (attached) for a chance to win prizes! The board (PDF) includes sustainability-related activities and initiatives you can do across campus during Sustainability Month (Oct. 1-31). Make sure you document and let us know which actions you completed using the Google Form to be eligible for the prize drawing.
       
    • Have you gotten your office, event, or Greek chapter certified as Green yet? It’s easy to be sustainable! Get certified and be recognized!
  3. Student Sustainability Leadership Council First Meeting!

    Hello sustainability minds of UIUC,

    It was great to interface with many of your organizations this Sunday at Quad Day! I'm writing to inform you of our first meeting of the semester! We'll be meeting next Monday, August 29th from 6 - 7 pm. The meeting will be held in the Foellinger Collaboration Pod in the newly renovated Student Org Complex on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union. If you've never been in this space, it's easy to get mixed up. You can access it via the SW stairwell of the Union. Once you've reached the second floor, you just need to turn right to find the Student Org Complex. 

    This meeting will be a fantastic opportunity to learn a little more about our member organizations as well as share a bit about yourself! We'll also give you a sense of the Student Sustainability Leadership Council's role in campus sustainability efforts (you'll definitely want to hear about the resources we've historically provided organizations like yours!). I'm looking forward to seeing many of you again and meeting others for the first time. If you can't send a representative, reach out and let me know, so I can keep you in the loop!

    Best,

    Jack Reicherts (and my crew Danika, Owen, and Maiah)

    SSLC Co-president

  4. Sustainability Grammys 2022!

    The first-ever Sustainability Grammys, hosted by iSEE, SSLC, SSC, and the Illini Union Board was a tremendous success! Congratulations to Red Bison, Project4Less, and Grow2Give on earning awards in the Impact, Engagement, and Initiative categories respectively. 

  5. Time-sensitive Petition to raise SSC fees by $3.94

    Note: Deadline was extended to March 1

     

    "Hey guys! The SSC needs your help! We are currently circulating a time-sensitive petition to raise SSC fees by $3.94. We need over 2,000 signatures by February 22! https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/529864641?referrer=https://shibboleth.illinois.edu/ 

     

    Right now, the SSC collects $14 from each student via the Cleaner Energy Technologies Fee and the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee, which together is called the Illinois Green Fund. This money goes into a pot, and the SSC allocates that pot of money toward student- and faculty-led sustainability projects. This fee hasn't increased in years, despite increases in tuition and national inflation. To continue to adequately support sustainability projects, we need more funding! 

     

    If we don't hit our mark, the SSC won't be considered for more funding :( Please please please sign this, promote it on your social media, and send it to your general members." Maria Maring (2-16-2022)

  6. Spring 2022 Semester Goals

    Co-presidents Owen Jennings, Maiah Caise, Jack Reicherts, and Maria Maring are excited to embark upon their second semester as SSLC leadership together. The primary goals of the semester include: 

     

    • Bolster collaboration between environmental RSOs on UIUC campus. The SSLC hopes to work with Student Affairs to incentivize participation with the SSLC, using the University of California Berkely’s Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) as a template. Weekly board meetings and monthly full meetings will continue per usual.

    • Bolster collaboration between other Illinois schools like University of Illinois Chicago, University of Illinois Springfield, and Illinois State University. Both SECS and ISG may play significant roles in this relationship-building. The SSLC has already been in contact with Illinois State.

    • Host Earth Month events. The SSLC already began communication with the Illini Union Green Team last semester to begin planning events like Green Quad Day and a movie night on the Quad. Organizations like SECS, Red Bison, and iSEE that have been historically active in Earth Month events will be essential in these processes. 

    • Write SSLC bylaws. The Council has not previously had bylaws, and they are absolutely essential to moving forward in an organized and successful fashion. 

    • Continue to monitor the fight for divestment from fossil fuels. This iCAP Objective has caused copious political strife between students and administrators. Because divestment continues to be a hot topic, the SSLC will continue to listen to student concerns. 

     

  7. Fall 2021 Semester Summary

    The SSLC underwent many changes under the new leadership of co-presidents Owen Jennings, Maiah Caise, Jack Reicherts, and Maria Maring. The board experimented with the mission and niche of the SSLC, ultimately establishing that the organization shall act as a medium of communication between student groups and the administration. The organization will also be the primary host of the annual Student Sustainability Summit in October, touting – among other interdisciplinary events – Green Quad Day, Sustainable Student Research Symposium, and Tuesday Talks at Bevier Cafe. 

     

    This Summit was the Council’s most noteworthy accomplishment this semester. The SSLC collaborated with: Red Bison, Outdoor Adventure Club, the Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering, the Sustainable Student Farm, the Pilot Processing Plant, Grand Prairie Friends, the F&S Solar House, Stop Line 3 CU, Students for Environmental Concerns, Prairie Rivers Network, and the Student Sustainability Committee. This myriad of events had varying levels of attendance. The SSLC leadership learned two primary lessons from the inaugural Student Sustainability Summit: first, quality over quantity in terms of events; and second, planning well ahead of time is absolutely essential in order to adequately advertise each event. If you attended or co-hosted any Summit event, and you would like to let the SSLC board know your feedback, please fill out this form. The current SSLC leadership looks forward to how future leadership will expand upon the Summit. 

     

    Another noteworthy accomplishment of the SSLC this semester was action following the publication of the Campus Admin Manual’s Expressive Activity Policy draft. Students were largely emotional about the policy’s stringent punishment for demonstrations on campus, so the SSLC – in conjunction with SECs and the SSC – wrote a letter to Chancellor Jones demanding that the policy more closely align with the student body’s needs. As of January 2022, the SSLC has received no reply from the Office of the Chancellor.  

     

    Co-presidents Maria Maring and Owen Jennings spoke at the Campus Sustainability Celebration and Sustainability Council meeting, respectively, on the topic of divestment. Though SSLC leadership was merely prompted to give basic updates at these meetings, they utilized the face-to-face opportunity with campus administrators to voice student concerns about completing iCAP Objective 9.1: Fully divest from fossil fuel companies by FY25. 

     

    In a first, the SSLC and general members participated in the Homecoming Parade. Roughly a dozen students marched with divestment-related signs. The SSLC hopes to expand Homecoming attendance next year. 

     

    The SSLC revived its dormant Facebook account (@sslcuiuc) and newly established an Instagram account (@uiuc_sslc). On the latter, the SSLC made 40 posts and gained 227 followers. The Facebook account has 93 followers; engagement on this platform is much less. The SSLC also made a linktree and a Google calendar to which other RSOs can sync. That way, all events from all different orgs are all conveniently on one calendar. This joint calendar is still undergoing troubleshooting, and it is not yet available for public viewing. 

     

    Amidst these new endeavors, the SSLC held full membership meetings roughly once a month, as did the previous leadership. One recurring issue was lack of attendance and engagement. Leadership held many conversations with both general members and staff advisors about how to increase the efficacy of the Council, but no good solution was found. The SSLC will continue to hold these monthly meetings and brainstorm about how to increase engagement throughout the upcoming spring semester. 

     

    The SSLC board met weekly. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the Council at sslc-chair@mx-illinois.edu

  8. Sustainability Council Meeting 11-29-21

    The Sustainability Council met on 11-29-21. The presentation is attached and the agenda was as follows:

    • Student group updates (SSC, SSLC, ISG)
    • Clean Energy Plan
    • Rainwater Strategies 
    • Green Labs 
    • Strategic next steps (iCAP in campus strategic plan, AASHE STARS Platinum ranking)
  9. MASSMAIL - Student Sustainability Committee Application and Updates

    The following email was sent as a Massmail to U of I students:

    ======================

    Hello students,

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) is a student-led organization that funds student, staff, and faculty project proposals via two student fees—the Cleaner Energy Technologies Fee and the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee—which together make up the Illinois Green Fund. Projects selected for funding are those which provide the greatest benefit to sustainability on campus, while providing engaging, educational opportunities for students to learn more about sustainability. The SSC is accepting project applications now! 

    Additionally, the SSC is introducing a new program to guide students from a broad interest in sustainability to a fully-fledged project application. By supporting applicants step-by-step through our process, we hope to engage students on a larger scale, ultimately resulting in the strongest applications possible. This new Project Funding Workshop Series will span five sessions, which can be found on the SSC calendar. Our first meeting will be held this Wednesday, September 29th, from 4-5 pm CT, in Lincoln Hall, Room 1065. We will discuss issues related to sustainability on campus that could be addressed with an SSC-funded project. In subsequent sessions, we will develop solutions to these challenges, create project proposals, and help participants write funding applications.

    For anyone who is passionate about sustainability and the environment, this is a great opportunity to turn your passion into a tangible, positive change for the campus community! Presently, we are not offering this event online. If you are unable to attend in-person, but still would like to get involved with the SSC, you can stay up-to-date by signing up for our mailing list. If you are interested in becoming a General Member, or other aspects of the committee, please visit our website. Every student at the University pays approximately $14 a semester to the Illinois Green Fund, so please join us to help allocate these student dollars!

    October is Campus Sustainability Month! We encourage you to attend UIUC’s inaugural Student Sustainability Summit this October, co-hosted with the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC). This month-long program includes University- and community-led sustainability efforts through events such as Green Quad Day, a Sustainability Research Symposium, teach-ins, tours of campus facilities, a movie night, and much more! To learn about the full breadth of the summit and stay updated on other sustainability-related RSOs, add the SSLC’s calendar. You can also connect with our social media accounts @ssc_uiuc and @uiuc_sslc on both Twitter and Instagram! Finally, for more information on campus sustainability efforts and events, check out the iCAP (Illinois Climate Action Plan) Portal and iSEE (Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment) Calendar.

    We hope to see you at the Project Funding Workshop Series, Student Sustainability Summit, and more events throughout Campus Sustainability Month and beyond!

    Best,

    Jack Reicherts

    SSC Chair

  10. First Student Sustainability Summit this October!

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) are hosting U of I's first-ever Student Sustainability Summit in October. This month-long celebration includes Green Quad Day on 10/7 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and a Research Symposium from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Campus Instructional Facility. If you are an Illinois student, staff, or faculty researcher and would like to present your sustainability-related research, please fill out this interest form! >>>

  11. Campus Sustainability Month is almost here!

    Campus Sustainability Month is right around the corner and we are very excited to invite you to a series of events throughout the entire month of October! Starting this week, Wednesday, September 29 at 6:00 PM, Dr. Ann Perry-Witmer is hosting the next TED Talk: Eco-Edition series over Zoom. She will present a pre-recorded TED Talk and lead a discussion on sustainable decision-making in everyday life - you won’t want to miss out. Register HERE

    Next, back by popular demand, the second Waste Reduction Challenge begins on Monday, October 4. Participants track items they throw away from October 4 – October 31 to learn about and reduce individual waste generation as the month progresses. It is a fun and results-driven challenge with a supportive community. Throughout the month, we send helpful tips and tricks to make it as easy and informative as possible. Sign up HERE.

    Other events in October include:

    • Green Quad Day – October 7 from 10 – 4 PM
    • Virtual Solar Open House – Topia online platform – October 15 from 1 – 2:30 PM
    • Campus trash cleanup – Engineering Quad - October 15 from 3:30 – 5 PM
    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition – Sustainable Economy with Alexa Smith – October 19 from 6 – 7 PM. Register for the Zoom event HERE.
    • Campus Sustainability Celebration – NCSA (1205 W Clark St, Urbana) – October 20 from 1 – 4 PM
    • Illini Lights Out – Foreign Language Building – October 22 from 5:30 – 7 PM. Sign up HERE.  
    • Student Sustainability Summit: Research Symposium – Campus Instructional Facility 4029 - October 26 from 5 – 8 PM 

    Check out more information and other Campus Sustainability Month events on iSEE’s Sustainability Calendar HERE. If you are aware of a sustainability event that is not listed on the calendar, let us know!  

    Start filling your calendars – there are many opportunities to get involved, make a difference, and meet new people. Remember, while we have sustainability events all year long, Campus Sustainability Month is a month-long opportunity to highlight our environmental pride, connect with others, and increase participation in sustainability-related events by the U of I community and beyond. Get involved and come show your support! As always, we are here to answer any questions and guide you in the right direction.

    Have a great week and happy Campus Sustainability Month!

  12. General Meeting 9/20

    For September's General Meeting, we had everyone introduce themselves and what organization they were from. We also discussed plans for Student Sustainability Summit and how they can become involved. Promoted our development of a general Google calendar that contains general meeting times for all RSOs in the SSLC, as well as any events they are hosting. Lastly, we went through updates on all projects that RSOs are working on.

    Attached Files: 
  13. Spring 2021 SSLC Board Meeting Minutes

    Instead of assigning traditional and compartmentalized roles in a hierarchical structure, the new SSLC leadership decided to all share the title of “Co-President.” The Co-Presidents of the SSLC for the 2021-22 school year are Maiah Caise, Owen Jennings, Maria Maring, and Jack Reicherts. 

    The Co-Presidents met weekly during the last one to two months of the Spring 2021 semester, mostly to get acquainted with one another and establish the basic foundation of the revamped SSLC. Some of the highlights of those meetings include: 

    The SSLC now boasts three social media accounts: Facebook @sslcuiuc; Twitter @uiuc_sslc; and Instagram @uiuc_sslc

    There are two main ambitions that the SSLC hopes to pursue, in addition to the responsibilities that the Council has historically tended to: a campus-wide Sustainability Summit and some form of iCAP accountability promotion. Both of these initiatives are very early in the works. The Sustainability Summit will hypothetically take place during Sustainability Month (October) 2021, and it will be in collaboration with many on- and off-campus entities, most notably the SSC. iCAP accountability will likely take the form of a social media campaign, likely in heavy collaboration with SECs. 

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