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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)

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  1. SSC Semesterly Report: Identifying the Campus Benefits of a Large-Scale Prairie Experiment

    SSC received semester report for Fall 2021 for Identifying the Campus Benefits of a Large-Scale Prairie Experiment project on 1/23/2022. Please see attached. 

  2. 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

  3. SSC Semesterly Report: Diversion of Non-Recycable Plastics Using Pyrolysis Process Fuels for Campus

    SSC received semesterly report for Fall 2021 for Diversion of Non-Recycable Plastics Using Pyrolysis Process Fuels for Campus on 12/29/21. Please see attached. 

  4. SSC Semesterly Report: Joint Pollinator Garden and Composting Systems to Offset Environmental Impact and Reinforce Responsible Stewardship in Research

    SSC received semesterly report for Fall 2021 for Joint Pollinator Garden and Composting Systems to Offset Environmental Impact and Reinforce Responsible Stewardship in Research on 12/17/2021. Please see attached. 

  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. 15 permanent bicycle registration signs installed

    15 metal signs to promote bicycle registration have been installed. These locations are:

    1. Snyder Hall
    2. Weston Hall
    3. Bike Shelter (new) by Flagg Hall
    4. Nugent Hall
    5. Hopkins Hall – covered bike parking
    6. Bousfield Hall – covered bike parking
    7. South of Wassaja Hall – covered bike parking
    8. Busey Evans
    9. Allen Hall
    10. LAR
    11. ISR (new bike racks on North side)
    12. ISR - North East location - 64 bike racks
    13. Illini Union South
    14. Illini Union North
    15. ARC
  7. Sustainability components added to campus tour script

    The following sustainability topics will be added to the new student campus tours!

    • Student Sustainability Committee (SSC): each year a group of graduate and undergraduate students vote on the funding for projects that have an environmental impact on campus, SSC allocates about $1.5 million annually towards these projects, the funds come from students fees, one of the largest green funds in American higher education today, have allocated $15.55 million towards funding 316 projects since 2008
    • Composting: National Soybean Research Center has a compost tumbler, the first publicly accessible compost drop-off on campus with plans to expand 
    • Environmental Quad Day: environmental RSOs and sustainability groups showcase their green initiatives and participation opportunities
    • Recycling: single-use mask recycling locations on campus; approximately 50 collection boxes available on campus to recycle single-use face coverings
    • Climate Commitments: UIUC has committed to achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible and has a Climate Action Plan (2020) to outline the campus sustainability plan to advance and achieve our goals 
  8. Pilot for National Green Infrastructure Certification Program for University Operations

    A SSC Fall Step 1 Application was submitted on October 15, 2021 to support F&S staff to receive National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) training. If funded, four F&S staff or designees will receive the NGICP training from Parkland College’s NGICP program between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

  9. Weekly Update: Green Quad Day; Abandoned bicycles

    All, Slower week, which was welcome. Sold a couple bikes and were able to get a handle on the influx of drop off repairs. The Green Quad Day event that was supposed to happen on Thursday was rescheduled to Tuesday, so we’ll staff for that event and hobnob with the larger sustainability community.

    I’ll make a run out to the abandoned bike emporium this week, too, and see if there’s anything worth our time. Was planning that for last week but it didn’t happen.

    We’ve got a couple bikes in the shop build queue, but I’ll grab a few from Urbana unless we get more donations this week.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 35
    Sales: $850.50
    Bike (refurb): 3 for $490
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $20


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator