With over 700 different registered organizations on campus, a student can get involved in practically anything. Yet there are a few clubs that serve entirely for Mother Nature. Students with Environmental Concerns is a club supported by the University YMCA and the University. With about 100 members, the core group of S.E.C.S. focuses on creating a "green bridge" between students, campus-life and the environment. The club members meet weekly to discuss current campus issues, work on new projects and mainly try to get their voices heard in the community and in the state.
I've attended their Wednesday evening meetings in the past, but this year I have a class which conflicts with the meeting. I still receive the club's newsletter, however, and stay informed about projects that members are currently working on.
The club has several different committees that focus on particular environmentally friendly ideas: sustainability technology, battery/ink cartridge recycling, community outreach, recycling and Earth Week. These committees are organized with a leader or committee chair, and any other students interested in helping that particular cause. Each committee is assigned projects throughout the semester; for example, the community outreach chair is in charge of teaching little kids the importance of composting with soil and worms. The recycling committee focuses only on recycling in the two campus towns: Champaign
. (The city of Champaign
doesn't have an established recycling program, and that committee is working on changing that).
In addition to the committees, S.E.C.S. also works closely with the campus sustainability office; the student farm; working with the twin cities, Champaign
and other related community events.
The club has provided opportunities for student members to get proactive about the environment. The battery recycling team just recycled a half ton of batteries in three weeks. Another committee wrote letters to Congressman Tim Johnson regarding the importance of the fight for climate change. Students signed letters and filmed interviews on their opinion of climate change.
S.E.C.S. is always looking to make the University of Illinois
more sustainable. The club has been effective in turning off building lights that are not in use, supporting local produce in the dormitory cafeterias, fighting the wind turbine project and many other controversial topics here on campus.
The club consists of students of all majors and interests, but they all have one thing in common: they sure do love Mother Nature, and they protect every bit of her that they can!