During this semester, I have attended several meetings and symposiums about the progress of campus sustainability. In particular, I learned from Ben McCall, the newly appointed associate Director for Campus Sustainability at the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, all of the ways UIUC is working to make campus a carbon-neutral institution. From where I’m sitting, it seems like the University is well on its way. The famous (or perhaps infamous) iCAP plan will soon undergo a huge overhaul and new sustainability goals will be set for this campus. From the discussions I have heard, it seems that interdepartmental collaboration will be the big push to get things done around here. I think that student RSOs need to here that message of collaboration as well. By my reckoning, there are more than 30 student organizations at the University of Illinois with environmentally-related missions. Would we not be more effective if we came together once in a while for large-scale campus events? We are all on the same side after all; we all want to share our feelings about the environment with our fellow student population and foster those same feelings within them. Instead of fighting over participants for fundraising and events, let’s co-sponsor and co-plan events. Let’s pool resources and make some big things happen. For Fall 2014, I look forward to learning more about all of the other environmental groups, and I hope that we can begin to have conversations on how to unite many student groups around a single goal for some real change on this campus and in the world.
I hope you enjoy this last issue of the Green Observer for the 2013-2014 academic year.