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Lauren Gersbach
IU Office of Sustainability

Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009

IU Student Sustainability Council seeks support for Green Initiative Fund

Dec. 9, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington student groups are coming together to enhance sustainability efforts on campus.

To promote communication and collaboration among organizations interested in advancing environmentalism on campus, 14 student organizations have formed a new group, the Student Sustainability Council (SSC).


A new IU Bloomington student group, the Student Sustainability Coucil, brings together existing campus groups for collaboration on issues of sustainability on campus.

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The SSC is composed of representatives from both undergraduate and graduate student organizations as well as student government bodies.

Some member organizations focus principally on sustainability related issues, while others have broader missions. All of the groups recognize the importance of sustainability and have created internal offices to concentrate on these areas.

Member organizations currently include:

  • Alpha Phi Omega (APO)
  • Coal Free IU
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Environmental Management Association (EMA)
  • Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO)
  • Greeks Go Green (GGG)
  • IU Student Association (IUSA)
  • Net Impact, Graduate Chapter
  • Net Impact: The Sustainable Business Club, Undergraduate Chapter
  • Residence Hall Association (RHA)
  • Slow Food on Campus
  • Students Producing Organics Under the Sun (SPROUTS)
  • Sustainable Development Association (SDA)
  • Volunteers in Sustainability (ViS)

The group's goals include offering a student perspective to the IU Office of Sustainability; helping to reduce the negative effects of the university on the natural environment; promoting social and economic justice; and engaging the IU student body in issues of sustainability.

"The SSC provides an exciting opportunity for student groups to work together and communicate much more effectively," said Alexis Suskin-Sperry, an IU junior and co-chair of the Net Impact undergraduate chapter. "Not only will it offer the chance for all of us to know what is going on related to sustainability across campus, but we can try to reach out to other groups as much as possible to start incorporating sustainability into their clubs as well."

The first collaborative effort of the SSC is the establishment of a Green Initiative Fund (GIF).

The group seeks to add a $5 donation option during IU Bloomington's online registration each semester to support sustainability initiatives on campus.

The SSC must collect signatures in support of the GIF from one quarter of the enrolled student body -- nearly 10,000 students -- by the end of fall semester this month. (Students who sign the petition will not be committing to pay the $5, but will be expressing support for making the option available.)

Students and student organizations would have the opportunity to apply for funding generated from the GIF for on-campus, sustainability-related initiatives and projects. In collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board, the SSC would review the proposals and allocate the money raised through the GIF each semester. Potential projects might include extending recycling coverage, purchasing occupancy sensors for interior lighting, installing solar panels, enhancing transportation infrastructure, or helping to establish prairies on campus grounds.

"Supporting the Green Initiative Fund is a wonderful way for students to express to the administration their own commitment to campus sustainability and will prove once again that students are a major driving force for positive change within the IU community," said IU senior Nathan Bower-Bir, coordinator for Volunteers in Sustainability. "That students will decide how to invest the student-donated money is an exciting prospect."

Students interested in volunteering to collect signatures for the GIF should contact the SSC through Volunteers in Sustainability ( Organizations interested in participating on the SSC should contact Membership Chair Lauren Gersbach at