In 2011, the Board of Trustees approved the UIC Sustainability Fee (formerly known as the Green Fee) as an initiative to improve the quality of campus operations, reduce UIC’s environmental impact, and generate awareness about environmental and sustainable issues by creating opportunities for students’ involvement.
Paid for by all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, the Sustainability Fee is a $3 per semester fee. The Sustainability Fee funds small, short-term projects, helps to subsidize larger, long-term projects on campus, offers discounted Divvy memberships for students, and helps funds student travel to sustainability-related conferences. Funding from this fee is administered by the Sustainability Fee Advisory Board (SFAB) comprised of undergraduate, graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff.
Questions, comments, or need help thinking of a potential project? Contact the board here.
Approximately $120,000 is available per academic year to fund proposals that aid in establishing a sustainable campus environment by expanding such areas as composting, landscaping, and transportation initiatives while also reducing waste and conserving resources. Funding proposals must address the three pillars of sustainability – environmental protection, social equity, and economic benefit – and align with the goals of the UIC Climate Action Plan.
Who can apply
All UIC undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and registered student organizations are eligible to apply. If needed, the SFAB will help provide access to campus resources and personnel to approve projects. SFAB can also suggest other entities that may provide funding or assistance.
Applicants are required to submit a Letter of Inquiry before submitting a final proposal. The Letter of Inquiry allows the committee to pre-screen proposals for appropriateness and feasibility. LOIs should describe the project, its appropriateness and campus impact; furthermore, it should provide a rough estimate of the breakdown and total cost of the project, including expected completion and cost savings, if any.
Although the LOI is open year round, the SFAB reviews LOIs in October and March; the deadline for the Fall 2015 is September 28th. The SFAB will notify all applicants via email if they have been selected to submit a full proposal; this is due on November 16th, 2015. The applicant will be required to meet with a SFAB member prior to submitting a final proposal.
After the full proposal is submitted, grantees will be notified by the end of the semester. The committee reserves the right to issue a second call, directly invite one or more proposals of interest, and/or to hold funding for future years.
In addition to the quality and completeness of the proposal, the committee will evaluate projects based on the following criteria:
High visibility and educational exposure on campus
Promotion of renewable energy
High incidence of student involvement or employment
Long-term cost benefits
Interdisciplinary collaboration and research
Additional aspects of project that can add value:
Direct energy and sustainability impact
Budget effectiveness, cost sharing, and leverage of external funds
Likelihood for success
Education and outreach
The Sustainability Fee Advisory Board is a ten-person board comprised of students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional), staff, and faculty that meets bi-monthly during the academic year.
The Board for 2014-2015:
Mary Ashley, Professor of Biological Sciences
Rawan Alkhateeb, Neuroscience 2018
Paula Debkowska, Electrical Engineering 2017
Jonathan Khou, Engineering 2017
Cynthia Klein-Banai, Associate Chancellor for Sustainability *
Vy Milunas, Director of Project Management
Karima Patel, Biological Sciences 2018
Neel Thakkar, Biological Sciences 2016
Cynthia Sanchez, Earth and Environmental Science 2016
Thomas Theis, Director of The Institute for Environmental Science and Policy
Lucia Whalen, English 2017
* Ex Officio member
Click on project image for full proposal
Student and/or student group must be committed to see the proposal through until completion; this includes being a registered student at UIC for the duration of the project. Students who are graduating the semester of application are not eligible.
To be considered, projects must be implemented on the Chicago campus. The one exception is in the case of proposals that involve purchasing renewable energy from off-campus locations.
Funding will not be given to projects that are fundamentally for research purposes only. Projects with a research component, however, will be fully considered.
Funding is subject to any University restrictions including bidding process and site approval.
All funding recommendations made by GFAB must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs and Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Administrative Services.
If the proposal is approved for funding, the board is permitted to post the entire proposal on its website, and/or publicly disseminate any and all information pertaining to the proposal.
Quarterly status reports and account statements detailing spending of awarded funds will be required until the completion of the project. Additionally, a comprehensive final report is required on project completion, a case study prepared for the NWF Campus Ecology Program (if appropriate), and a project presentation carried out (if appropriate).
The entity carrying out the project is expected to acknowledge the board’s support in any public communications, and carry out activities, as appropriate, to publicize the project and the board’s support.
All projects are expected to be completed within 1.5 years of acceptance. Exceptions are possible at the board’s discretion.
Any changes in scope, timeline, or budget must be approved by the Sustainability Fee Advisory Board.
Sustainability Fee funding can be withdrawn in cases of change of scope, inadequate progress, or lack of communication.