April 22, 2016

Green Fund award recipients announced

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- New lighting, a lactation station, vermicomposting, green programming, and T-shirt and paper recycling are among the projects selected as the newest recipients of Green Fund awards at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

A total of more than $240,800 was allocated for 20 diverse projects this spring. The announcement of the winning projects came during campus Earth Day festivities today (April 22). 

“We’re really excited about the projects that the SIU community has brought to our attention. We were also impressed by the number and quality of the student-initiated proposals. The research and effort put into their applications was impressive and really reiterated how much our students want to create a more sustainable campus,” Jerrica Jordan, graduate student representative on the Sustainability Council and Green Fund Committee member, said. 

“Because of the number of quality applications we received, it was difficult to decide which proposals were most deserving of funding,” Jordan, an English doctoral candidate, added. “Ultimately, preference went to those that best demonstrated an attempt to aid sustainability efforts on an economic, social or environmental level.” 

Funding for the grants comes from a $10 per-semester student Green Fee, adopted as the result of a student-led initiative. Since its inception in 2009, the Green Fund has awarded more than $2 million to 153 projects, including those announced this week. 

Sustainability projects chosen this spring to receive Green Fund grants, along with a brief description of each and the award amount, follow. An “S” designation indicates projects led by students. 

  • Rainbow’s End Child Development Center green project, $32,500. The project will include an expansion of the childcare center’s south playground and adding raised planters at the north playground that preschool and school-age children can use for gardening with seasonal flowers and vegetables.
  • New equipment for existing composting facility, $29,589. This will cover purchase of a skid-steer to move waste and a can cleaner to help clean the food waste containers at the campus composting facility.
  • Touch of Nature Environmental Center planning, $27,000, to develop a land management plan for the experiential learning center.
  • (S) Cinema LED lighting, $22,072. The funding will allow the MCM Filmmakers United registered student organization to purchase LED lighting equipment.
  • Graduate research assistant for energy efficiency, $20,253, to fund a graduate assistant position through Plant and Service Operations to engage in helping analyze and implement energy efficient campus projects.
  • Lactation accommodations, $20,200. To create a lactation station in the library to give mothers privacy when nursing their babies.
  • LOGIC (LOcal Gardening Initiative of Carbondale) garden manager, $16,752, to pay for a half-time graduate assistant to manage the sustainable garden during the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • Take Control, $15,000. This initiative is a cross-campus collaboration to facilitate an understanding of and access to sustainable, long-term, effective birth control options. Officials said the goal of “Take Control” is to simultaneously increase the use of sustainable contraceptive options at SIU while addressing issues of social equity, social justice, education, access and student involvement in health care. The project is a collaboration involving University Housing, the Center for Inclusive Excellence, Greek Life, SIU Athletics, the Healthy Campus Coalition, Peer Educators Empowering Responsible Salukis (P.E.E.R.S.) and academics through Student Health Services.  
  • Student Recreation Center lighting, $15,000. The funding, contingent upon student involvement and data collection, will cover LED lighting for the locker rooms.
  • Vermicomposting revitalization project, $11,412. The existing vermicomposting system will be replaced with a more sustainable type of plastic system to prevent the potential for rot in the future.
  • (S) 3-D print recycling and self-manufacturing filament system, $4,459. This will allow purchase of a plastic granulation machine and filament-creation equipment to allow recycling of 3-D printing processes plastic waste on campus.
  • (S) Touch of Nature Environmental Center graduate assistant, $7,000 to fund a position dedicated to environmental education outreach.
  • T-shirt recycling, $3,274, to fund a Craft Shop workshop enabling students to recycle their old T-shirts into quilts.
  • Energy-efficient computer changes, $3,100. Ten computers in campus labs will have their central processing units replaced by “thin clients” that will provide access to the same software from a central server but will be 50 percent more efficient than personal computers and have substantially longer service lives.
  • (S) Bicycle master plan, $2,800, to partially cover the cost of resources needed to develop a bicycle master plan for SIU.
  • Sustainable/socially responsible information technology practices information session and master class, $2,700. The grant will partially fund an appearance at IT Day by keynote speaker Deb Albers, vice president of social and environmental sustainability with Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition.
  • Paper recycling, $2,200, to fund the Craft Shop’s purchase of equipment to use on a small scale to recycle paper into pulp and new paper.
  • (S) Green programming, $2,050, to enable Touch of Nature Environmental Center to provide green programming and transportation from campus to the center for registered student organizations and other campus groups.
  • (S) Touch of Nature trail bridge, $2,000. The grant will cover the cost of constructing a trail bridge to complete the newly developed Touch of Nature Trail. Students from the SIU chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers will do the work under the leadership of engineering faculty.
  • Additional water station, $1,448, to install an Elkay water bottle refill station in the Agriculture Building.  

To learn more about SIU’s award-winning commitment to sustainability and green initiatives, visit www.sustainability.siu.edu