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Jacob Bower-Bir
Student Sustainability Council

Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2011

11,000-plus students successfully petition to establish IU Sustainability Fund

April 11, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington students voiced their opinion in favor of creating a Sustainability Fund for the promotion of 'green' initiatives and projects on campus.

With the help of the Student Sustainability Council and its 18 member organizations, 11,266 students signed a petition for the establishment of the fund, which will be supplied by a voluntary $5 fee offered during course registration. To make this option available, the council had to collect signatures in support of the Sustainability Fund from one quarter of the enrolled student body (nearly 10,000 students) by the end of the fall semester.

Go Green - Prairie

Art by Julia Denison

The sustainability council, with support from the Indiana University Student Association, pioneered the use of an online petition to collect signatures. Permission to use the online tool required the approval of Dean of Students Harold "Pete" Goldsmith, the Office of the Registrar and University Information Technology Services. After its successful first run, this new, efficient, and democratic instrument will soon be extended to other university activities.

Students can choose to donate to the fund when course registration opens on April 4, 2011; and the option to donate will be available every subsequent registration period. The sustainability council will begin allocating fund proceeds during the fall 2011 semester.

Students and student organizations will have the opportunity to recommend on-campus sustainability-related initiatives and projects. In collaboration with the IU Office of Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board, the council will review proposals and allocate the money raised each semester. Potential projects might include extending recycling coverage, purchasing motion-sensor lighting, installing solar panels, or enhancing transportation infrastructure.

As a university-recognized student organization, Student Sustainability Council will apportion the Sustainability Fund with the utmost transparency. The council's constitution affords representation to every student group at IU Bloomington. Leaders of student groups wanting to join the council should send an email to Once a member, student organizations will be able to propose, review and vote on sustainable capital projects with the rest of the council. Proposals that successfully navigate the selection process will then be published and open to public comment.

The Student Sustainability Council is made up of representatives from both undergraduate and graduate student organizations and student government bodies. It was created during the fall 2009 semester in an effort to promote communication and collaboration among organizations interested in advancing environmentalism and sustainability at IU Bloomington. The group's central objectives are to advise the IU Office of Sustainability from the students' perspectives, to help to reduce the negative effects of the university on the natural environment, to promote social and economic justice, and to engage the IU student body in issues of sustainability.

To learn more about the Student Sustainability Council visit or visit Facebook at