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  1. SECS newsletter


    Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS)

    As school's beginning to pick up and midterms are right around the corner, so is SECS! We've got a ton of upcoming events this week so check out all the info below and join us tomorrow for our weekly meeting! Be sure to check out the new "Articles of the Week" section on the right side bar. Also be on the lookout for another big social event in October... more info soon!

    General Meeting Tomorrow!


    When: Wednesday, September 25th

    Time: 6:30 pm

    Where: University YMCA (1001 S. Wright Street)

    This week we're announcing the top choices for our lecture/panel educational series from last week's discussion and doodle! We'll also be splitting up and working in our project groups so be sure to come out and join your group for some more awesome training, planning, and updates! Not sure what group you wanna commit to yet? No problem! Join us tomorrow and see which initiatives interest you the most! If you can't make the meeting, be sure to check out all the announcements and upcoming events in this newsletter listed below!


    Beyond Coal Event TODAY!


    WHEN: TODAY! Tuesday, September 24

    TIME: 11am

    WHERE: Business Instructional Facility (BIF)

    The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is targeting Bank of America to agree to divest from all mountaintop removal coal mining operations. In order to do this, RAN is calling on campuses nationwide to disrupt the bank's college recruitment efforts to make it tougher for them to do business and generally increase visibility and pressure.

    Today, we will be disrupting first round interviews for Bank of America taking place in the business career center at the BIF. We will enter the building wearing business casual clothing carrying signs provided by the Rainforest Action Network, walk into the interview room, say a few words detailing who we are to the recruiter conducting the interview, give him/her a letter to give to their supervisor, and leave saying a single chant.

    Meet up with us TODAY at 11am in the courtyard area of the BIF! Remember to bring your orange squares-- we'll have a few if you forget yours or don't have one! Hope to see you guys there!


    "Right to the Common"


    When: Wednesday, September 25

    Time: 8-10pm

    Where: Levis Faculty Center, 3rd Floor

    Who: Michael Hardt

    This is an awesome lecture being given by Michael Hardt, chair of the Literature Department at Duke University. This lecture aims to define what is "common" and distinguish it from what is private vs. public. It will then explore different social movements (like the Occupy movement) and how they relate to "the common". 


    LEED Study Sessions!


    WHEN: every Wednesday, starting 10/2

    TIME: 7:00-8:30pm

    WHERE: 1311 Newmark

    Are you interested in LEED certification? Want to be come a LEED Green Associate? Good news, there are study sessions available for you to prepare for the exam! Check out the class sign ups here or email Savannah Goodman with any questions! Classes are every Wednesday, starting next week 10/2!


    Planting for Wildlife


    WHEN: Saturday, September 28

    TIME: 1-3pm

    WHERE: Perkins Road Wet Prairie

    The Urbana Park District and Sierra Club have been awarded grant funding from the Illinois American Water Company to restore a portion of the wooded stream corridor at the Perkins Road Wet Prairie. Please join us on National Public Lands Day to plant native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers at this site. (Tools, instruction, and snacks will be provided. Participants will receive a NPLD Certificate. Long pants, long sleeves, and sneakers or hiking boots recommended.)

    If you're interested in volunteering, call (217) 384-4062 by September 27 to RSVP! We'll be meeting at the Urbana Dog Park parking lot on Perkins Road, east of Cunningham Avenue. See you there!

    What is SECS?


    Students for Environmental ConcernS (SECS) is UIUC's oldest and largest environmental group. We work with all things green on campus and around the community. Check us out at our weekly meetings every Wednesday @ 6:30 at the University YMCA.


    In This Newsletter


    General Meeting


    Power Shift

    LEED Study Sessions

    PARKing Day


    Visit our website

    Like us on facebook

    Follow us on Instagram





    Check out the articles below relating to topics about the environment!


    Have any interesting news to share? Share them with SECS by emailing Linda!



    "Dynegy Hearings"



    "EPA Carbon Limits"


    Contact Information


    Linda Qiu

    Secretary of SECS


    SECS T-Shirts!


    SECS t-shirts will be on sale at every weekly meeting for only $8! 




    Holla Back


    Have some content you wanna share on our newsletter, website or facebook? Please feel free to send me updates, events, pictures, comics--anything! Contributions and feedback are always welcome. Thanks!




    If you don't want to receive newsletters and updates from SECS, just scroll down and click the "SafeUnsubscribe" link. If you ever want to be put back on, just sign up on our website linked above!


    "Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance."           -Theodore Roosevelt

    Linda Qiu, Secretary


    SECS is a program of the University YMCA




  2. Composting at Espresso

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:22 AM
    To: Fee, Casey A
    Cc: Mueller-Soppart, Marlon Anthony; Jones, Maria
    Subject: RE: Expresso Green Team

    Hi Casey and Marlon,

    How is this going?  Are you having some success?  I added Maria Jones to this email list, since she is the SSC Food and Waste Working Group chair.  The SSC could not allocate funds to Espresso, but there may be other opportunities for collaboration.  Of course, Marlon could bring that up as well.



    From: Casey Fee []
    Sent: Monday, September 09, 2013 8:15 PM
    To: Johnston, Morgan B
    Subject: Re: Expresso Green Team

    Hi Morgan,

    Thanks for contacting us, we're currently figuring out logistics and we will be communicating with the haulers you suggested. We just had a meeting with an Expresso Royale employee and we are going to get measurements about how much compost they produce a day, which we want before contacting the haulers. After that, we will definitely be contacting you again. 

    Thanks again,

    Marlon and Casey

    On Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 7:08 PM, Johnston, Morgan B <> wrote:

    Hi Casey and Marlon,

    This is the Espresso at Goodwin and Oregon, right? They have no direct connection to the UI, so it would make sense to give the compost to a local group rather than a campus group. (Also, the SSC recently funded vermicomposting at the Sustainable Student Farm, so they shouldn't need additional compost.)

    I think that a community garden could benefit from the compost. They may even be able to host the "compost pile." Here are a few I know of in the community:

    I grabbed these from a quick web search, and I found more than I expected. Perhaps you could reach out to all of them. If you have trouble hearing back from anyone, let me know and I can make a couple calls. 

    Thanks, and best wishes!


    Sent from my mobile device

    On Sep 2, 2013, at 3:44 PM, "Casey Fee" <> wrote:

    Hi Morgan,

    During the Friday meet and greet we, Marlon and I, discussed the prospects of getting Expresso to compost. We were wondering if you could put us in contact with people who might be interested in picking up and using the compost. 


    Casey and Marlon


    Casey Fee

    University of Illinois | Class of 2015

    Chemical Engineering

    Illini 4000 Portrait's Director


  3. RSO interested in reducing their food waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:18 AM
    To: Bressler, Jonathan Louis; Pickert, Diane A
    Cc: Jones, Maria
    Subject: RE: Food Reduction Recommendations

    Hi Diane and Jonathan,

    Were you able to meet and find a solution for the food waste from Tikkun Chambana?  The Student Sustainability Committee has a new working group chair for Food and Waste.  Her name is Maria Jones, and she is copied here.



    From: Aubrey, Dawn
    Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 1:35 PM
    To: Johnston, Morgan B; Bressler, Jonathan Louis
    Cc: Webb, Olivia Ashley; Pickert, Diane A
    Subject: RE: Food Reduction Recommendations

    Good Afternoon, Jonathan:

    Please contact Diane Pickert at 244-5800 to schedule a time to discuss food  waste reductions. I will not be available until later next week.

    Thank you,


    Dawn Aubrey, Ph.D., MBA, FMP, CEC, CCA
    Associate Director of Housing for Dining Services                                               
    University of Illinois
    407 Clark Hall
    1203 South Fourth Street
    Champaign, Illinois 61820
    Office Direct: 217-244-2997

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:08 PM
    To: Bressler, Jonathan Louis
    Cc: Webb, Olivia Ashley; Aubrey, Dawn
    Subject: Re: Food Reduction Recommendations

    Hello Jonathan,

    Thanks for reaching out. This looks like an important initiative. 

    There is a team working on vermicomposting at the Sustainable Student Farm this fall, with funding from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC). I've copied the SSC contact from last year for that project, Olivia Webb, here. 

    I believe she can help you in your efforts. I'd love to be kept informed about what you are doing, so please include me in any meetings you have. We can also reach out to Housing to talk with you about possible strategies. I have copied Dawn Aubrey so she can tell us who to meet with from her team. 



    Sent from my mobile device

    On Aug 27, 2013, at 11:47 AM, "Jonathan Bressler" <> wrote:

    Dear Morgan Johnston, 

    Hello, my name is Jonathan Bressler, and I am the president of Tikkun Chambana, a Jewish environmental RSO.  

    We are trying to reduce food waste, as we have many larger scale food events, and was wondering if you could give us some recommedations on what we could do or if we could somehow piggyback onto what Facilities and Management are doing.  I have looked into a few things of the university and found out about the EnviroPure Food Waste Disposal Systems, but these seem very expensive and well beyond our funding capacity,

    Thank you,

    Jonathan Bressler

    Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 2014

    College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

    University of Illinois

  4. LINC Class

    Associated Project(s): 

    This semester there are 7 students registered for the LINC UI Bikes Section  and 2 project managers. Their main project involves thinking of innovative and creative ideas for increasing the number of registered bikes on campus. Their goal consists of registering 3,000 bikes by the end of the semester!    

  5. Meeting with F&S representatives

    Warren Lavey met with John Prince and Morgan Johnston to discuss the intentions for this course.  We reviewed the summer conversations with Jordan Williams and Claire Grogan about the Business Instructional Facility and the Occupancy Sensors.  There are a lot of projects that could be identified for this class to consider, and F&S would prefer to suggest projects with existing information and contact people.  Morgan agreed to provide a list by October 21 of potential projects for the class to review.

  6. note about getting students involved

    Associated Project(s): 

    -Involving the individual colleges for spreading the word to gain student leaders and volunteers, ex: College of Environmental Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, ACES etc… ?

    After gaining their support, I would send a mass e-mail to the admins office and they could forward to students

  7. RLF project suggestions now being accepted

    Associated Project(s): 

    The FY14 Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) selection process has recently begun.  The RLF can fund medium payback utility conservation projects, involving energy, water, or chilled water on campus  (Examples of RLF projects are the campus lighting retrofit and the installation of occupancy sensors).  Launched in 2011 as a part of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), the RLF fully funds projects and is paid back over time from the associated cost avoidance.  Details about the RLF can be found on the iCAP Portal and in the attached fact sheet.  Project suggestions will be accepted through October 7.  See

    Please direct any questions to Morgan Johnston 217-333-2668

    Attached Files: 
  8. Allen Hall cardboard box recycling drive

    Associated Project(s): 

    My name is Max Colon, and I am a Resident Advisor in Allen Hall that works with a sustainability group to try and keep Allen green. Every year, we hold a recycling box drive where our organization hands out cardboard recycling boxes that have been given to us by Housing. I have a attached a photo of one of these boxes for identification purposes. I am wondering if it is possible for you to help me figure out who in Housing should be contacted in order to continue this tradition. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated! - Max

    We had the boxes over 10 years and we have depleted all supplies last year. Sorry- Vonne Ortiz

  9. Amy Liu is interested in talking with fraternities and sororities

    Associated Project(s): 

    Amy Liu spoke with Morgan Johnston at the SSC working group kickoff meeting about reaching out to sororities and fraternities about reducing waste by using reusable water bottles.  Morgan provided Amy with contact info for Michelle Hart in the Student Services Building.  Amy also suggested the catchy phrase "Tap that" to associate their efforts with tap water. Morgan noted that she is still setting up the water fountain tour with the plumbing shop, hopefully for next week.

  10. Paul Foote starts working on Lighting Retrofit grant preapplication

    Associated Project(s): 

    Today, Paul Foote met with Eva Sweeney and Morgan Johnston to begin the pre-application process for the Lighting Retrofit DCEO grant application.  After submitting a pre-application, the UI grant and contracts office will allow us to request an Anticipation Account.  The anticipation account can be used to fund retrofits directly using the anticipated grant incentives.  This grant has a bonus for work completed by Halloween and a smaller bonus for work completed by Valentine's Day.

  11. Quick update from Sarah

    Morgan and Sarah had a quick conversation today about the ODMFL project and plants.  Sarah reported that the plants were stored in pots at the Arboretum over the summer, and Kevin is working to move them into planted buffer polinator strips at the Sustainable Student Farm.  Sarah is going to continue to talk with Housing about the Orchard Downs project.

  12. Working Group kickoff meeting

    The SSC Working Group kickoff meeting we held today.  All the working group chairs gave a quick overview of the project types they handle. The chair gave an overview of the process and the workload for the working groups.  

    The individual working groups met at various tables and discussed their plans for the year.

  13. Katie Kinley suggests CITES utilize rechargeable batteries

    Associated Project(s): 

    Katie Kinley, with the Student Sustainability Committee, expressed interest in getting the CITES department to use rechargeable batteries in their equipment, rather than single use batteries. Morgan Johnston provided her with a contact name to initiate the discussion.  It was also noted that CITES can receive SSC funding for projects, but we don't believe they have applied in the past.  

  14. request for more details about trailer

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 4:19 PM
    To: Dornford, Adam Rey; Lietz, Amanda M; Ali, Zeynep; Branham, Bruce E
    Cc: Grant, Craig P; Halverson, Robert
    Subject: IBI trailer

    Hello IBI representatives,

    In order for F&S specialists to adequately review the IBI biodiesel trailer installation requirements, we will need additional details from the manufacturer.  Craig Grant is the Associate Director of Campus Code Compliance and Fire Safety, and he told me that the website for Verde Biofuel does not specify the codes that company used when creating their trailer systems. 

    Please confirm the specific trailer you intend to purchase, and seek the detailed specifications for the equipment used in that trailer.  We need to know, for example, if they followed the National Electric Code (NEC) requirements. 

    You are welcome to call me at 217-344-0044 if you would like to talk about this.