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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)

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  1. Bike Fee potential increase - discussion with SSC

    Sarthak Prasad, Morgan White, and Stacey DeLorenzo met with Jack Reicherts and Lucy Nifong from Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) to discuss a possible increase in the Bike Fee from $1 per semester per student to $3 per semester per student.

    SSC will lead the referenda and seek approval for this increase from the Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC). Sarthak Prasad has shared the Bike Fee proposals from FY17 to FY24 that were approved by the SFAC as supporting document. Sarthak will also share a possible proposal for FY25 and FY26 with the budget of nearly $250,000 per year.

  2. 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  
  3. 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!
  4. Scope Change and Extension request approved

    From: Student Sustainability Committee 
    Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 2:31 PM
    To: White, Morgan
    Cc: recycling@illinois.edu; Varney, Peter W 
    Subject: Re: Extension request for Dump and Run

     

    Hi All,

     

    This Scope Change was approved! Sorry for the late response!

     

    Please let us know if any additional information is needed on our end!

     

    Best,

     

    SSC

  5. Eco-Counter set installed and activated at Green and Goodwin

    A set of Eco-Counters were installed at the intersection of Green St and Goodwin Ave by Loomis Laboratory on Monday, May 9, 2022. This was a new set of counters with no groundbox, purchased in October 2021. This set of Eco-Counter was purchased using the SSC funding. These counters were activated on May 10, 2022, and they are now collecting and transmitting data. See attached the pictures of these counters.

  6. SSC Massmail 5/6/22

    The following email was sent to: Academic Professionals, Civil Service, Faculty, Extra Help, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Incoming Graduate Students & Incoming Undergraduate Students

    MASSMAIL - Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) - Spring 2022 Update
    May 6, 2022 3:02 PM

    Hello from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)! 

    If you have original project ideas to improve campus sustainability – or you want to help others make their sustainability projects a reality – then the SSC is for you. Please read on to learn about our history, funding, recent accomplishments, and how you can get involved!

    What is the SSC?

    We are a student-led organization that provides financial support to projects led by campus community members that promote environmental stewardship and student engagement on campus. These funds come from the Illinois Green Fund, which is composed of two student-initiated fees: the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee ($12.06/student per semester) and the Cleaner Energy Technologies Fee ($2/student per semester). 

    The committee was formed in 2002 by a group of passionate students fighting for the use of clean energy on campus. Today, we have expanded our scope from ongoing decarbonization efforts to include all facets of sustainability. SSC now consists of 18 enthusiastic student-voting members as well as many staff and faculty members who provide their expertise; together, we are an interdisciplinary team that is well equipped to determine which projects will best serve our campus community. Past projects have helped fund Eco-Illini, Solar Decathlon, Red Oak Rain Garden, Bevier Cafe's herb garden, the Illini Union’s recycling bins, CIF’s geothermal system, and many more! Each of these projects falls under one of the SSC’s Working Groups: Energy, Transportation & Infrastructure, Education & Justice, Food & Waste, Energy, and Land, Water, & Air.

    Over the past 20 years, the SSC has proudly dedicated $15.55 million to 316 individual projects, which have significantly improved campus sustainability and engagement.

    Recent Accomplishments

    Because the SSC receives funding from students to be used for students, it’s important to share our achievements with those who make the SSC possible: you! 

    Over the last two years, the SSC brought to life its longstanding goal of having a greater focus on student interaction and engagement. We added six new voting positions and restructured the committee to include entirely new branches dedicated to outreach in the form of our communications and social initiatives teams. We also officially began recruiting general members to encourage more students to have a voice in evaluating sustainability project applications.

    Through our increased outreach efforts, we have reached more campus environmental groups than ever. In October 2021, we co-hosted a month-long Student Sustainability Summit that included Green Quad Day, the Tuesday Talks at Bevier Cafe seminar series, a movie night, tours of university facilities, teach-ins, and a climate strike. We also programmed many Earth Month activities throughout April, hosting another Green Quad Day, more Tuesday Talks, and a showing of The Lorax at the Illini Union.

    Some other initiatives that we had the privilege of working with and funding this year include: 

    • The first-ever Sustainability Grammys to recognize all the amazing work that environmental RSOs do on campus, co-hosted by iSEE’s Greener Campus Office
    • The development of a single-use plastic reuse and elimination protocol at the Brinkworth Lab
    • The Sustainable Lab Network, which will compile a database of sustainability education resources
    • Fume hood upgrades in Morrill Hall to decrease energy demand
    • The Sustainability Mural Project to highlight the university's sustainability initiatives

    A collection of proposed, completed, and ongoing SSC projects can be found on the iCAP Portal.

    The SSC is also excited to announce our role as an organizer of the Reimagine Our Future Undergraduate Sustainability Competition that will take place in fall 2022. This competition challenges students to work independently or in interdisciplinary teams to research and solve a problem related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For the first time, the competition will have an international scope. Students will have the exciting opportunity to form teams with students from other participating universities around the world, and, for the time commitment of a 1-credit hour course, your team could win up to $2,000. The competition application will open this summer; visit the competition website often and subscribe to the SSC mailing list to stay updated! 

    How to Get Involved

    • Have a project idea that will improve campus sustainability and/or student engagement? Submit an application for funding! Even if you just have an idea but aren’t sure how to make it into a project yet, our working group chairs can help you develop your idea. Student-led projects under $10K are accepted on a rolling basis, while all other projects are accepted on a semesterly schedule. 
    • Interested in reviewing project applications and voting on how to allocate grant funding? Apply to be a board member – the deadline is Wednesday, May 11! The time commitment to be a board member is approximately three hours a week.
    • Want to join the SSC community in a lower commitment level role? Become a general member! You can attend social events and biweekly working group meetings (where we meet with applicants and discuss proposed projects), all of which can be found on our calendar. General members are welcome to attend any number of meetings – just one or all! 
    • Subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on Instagram @ssc_uiuc to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on with the SSC!
    • Join our Discord server, accessible from U of I’s student hub to participate in the sustainability community!

    Have a great weekend and remember to take some time to relax between finals!

    Julia Marsaglia
    Communications Coordinator, Student Sustainability Committee

  7. 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. 

  8. SSC Seeking Subject Matter Experts for Sustainability Competition this Fall

    The Student Sustainability Committee will be managing the Reimagine Our Future Undergraduate Sustainability Competition.

    If any subject-matter experts are interested in participating this year, we ask that you fill out this google form indicating your availability and your specialty before August 6th.

    For more information, you can view the attached the PowerPoint describing this year’s competition or check out Reimagine's website.

     

  9. SSC Meeting Reminder

    From: Student Sustainability Committee
    Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 11:20 PM
    To: SSC Board (2021-2022)-group; Alkhatib, Sari; Stumpf, Andrew J; Moore, Meredith Kaye; Benson, Eric; Brinkworth, Jessica F; Green, Eric William; Ngumbi, Esther Ndumi; Smith, Kyle C; Houser, Barry; McSweeney, Kevin; Peacock, Lisa Marie; Kelley, Hunter; Nifong, Lucy; Guth, David Christian; White, Morgan; Hintz, James
    Subject: SSC Meeting Reminder!

    Friends and longtime Jack supporters,

    Hello. It's that time of year again. Did you enjoy your week of respite from my emails (ignore emails that I also sent today)? Well bad news, it's time to pay the piper. Per usual, we have an SSC meeting tomorrow at 4 pm both online and in the Campus Instructional Facility, room 3038. We'll be voting on one scope change (it's about rockets, so cool and good) and doing a bunch of other cool stuff. As always, if you can't make it and/or you'd like to elect a proxy to attend on your behalf, let me know! I'd also like to express my small preference for members to attend in-person meetings when possible. I think there tends to be a little more involvement in discussion when I can spur people to talk with my steely glare. Obviously, don't feel pressured to attend in-person if you have some kind of spatial conflict or any concerns about illness/general wellness! Just saying, all things equal, if you value my opinion, that's like my slight slight preference. Tomorrow specifically, there is a special treat in it for you if you attend in-person. There's a slight incentive there, see, because there's a thing we need to do with as many of us as possible, which can only be done in-person. If you still can't make it, don't worry the opportunity cost here of attending online is max, maybe $6. Happy to venmo you the difference if you're really broken up about it.

    Anyhow, I'm rambling, here's the agenda (including link to scope change) which you should ideally check out before the meeting. Hope to see you there! Zoom below!

    Best,
    Jack

  10. 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)

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