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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC)

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  1. 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. 

  2. 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)

  3. 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. 

     

  4. 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

  5. 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)
  6. 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

  7. 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! >>>

  8. 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!

  9. 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: 
  10. 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. 

  11. iWG Meeting Minutes 5-14-21

    The iCAP Working Group met on 5-14-21. The agenda was as follows: 

    • Transportation iCAP Team presentation
    • Engagement iCAP Team presentation (presentation attached) 
    • Celebration of success ~ thank you!

    The Zoom recording is found here. (must download in order to view)

  12. Meet and Greet Event 2-8-21

    A re-launch event ("Meet and Greet") of SSLC was held on 2-8-21. See the recording here.

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

    Hello! 

    We are writing to invite you, on behalf of your environmental group, to attend a virtual “Meet and Greet” event on Monday, February 8, from 4-5 p.m. The purpose is to come together to discuss the function, structure, and purpose of the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) and relaunch the group. This organization is designed to provide an opportunity for sharing, collaboration, and centralized communication to streamline campus sustainability outreach and programs between student environmental groups and iSEE (Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment). SSLC can also function as a way for RSOs to receive help and support for projects and outreach.

    Key topics that will be discussed: 

    • What is the purpose of the SSLC? 
    • How can the SSLC benefit student groups and what is the benefit of participation?
    • Who should be a member of the SSLC?
    • How should the SSLC be structured and led?

    Your input and participation are essential to the success of this group and anyone is welcome to attend. We hope to see you at this discussion on February 8. Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or feedback in the meantime. See you soon!

  13. Meeting Minutes for iWG February, 2019

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