Sunday, April 15, 2018


It's finally our favorite time of the year here at SECS -- Earth Week! Though we think that every week is Earth Week, this is the one official week of the year that we get to go all out and spend all of our time celebrating the Earth. If you're interested in a brief history of Earth Day, please check out this blog post from last year's celebration.

As for this year, we've already had two amazing events. On Friday, we were lucky enough to have Bill McKibben, the famed environmental writer, activist, and founder of, as the speaker at the University YMCA's Friday Forum lecture. Afterwards, the YMCA hosted a small reception, where several SECS members had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with Bill.
Bill McKibben with students of SECS. Photo courtesy of Megan Flowers.
On Saturday morning, a few SECS members joined a tree planting effort at the corner of Race Street and Windsor Road. Thanks to them, we can now say that Urbana is one Oat Hickory tree stronger!
SECS members with our tree planting. Photo courtesy of MJ Oviatt.

Sad you missed out on these fun times? Don't worry, there's so much more left in store for the week!


Common Ground Co-Op Tour | 12:30-2:00pm, Common Ground Food Co-Op
Join our Sustainable Business Committee for a tour of the Common Ground Food Co-Op and learn about their sustainability efforts. We’ll follow up with an optional low-waste vegan cooking class. Hosted by the SECS Sustainable Business Committee.


Beyond Fossil Fuels Art Show | 11:00am-2:30pm, Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant
Beyond Coal will be hosting an art show highlighting both the detrimental effects of fossil fuel, our hope for a future of clean energy, and all the beauty in the world we seek to protect from fossil fuels. The show will be on display at the Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant during their regular lunch hours (11am-2:30pm Monday through Friday), and we will host an artist showcase at the University YMCA on Wednesday, April 18th, from 6:30-7:30pm. Hosted by UIUC Beyond Coal.


Meat Free Monday Lunch & Talk | 12:00-1:00pm, University YMCA
Come have lunch on us to kick off Earth Week! Learn about the benefits of going "meat-free," even for one day a week. We will be serving FREE vegan/vegetarian options from local restaurants. Community members and students will be giving short talks about why they chose to be #meatfree. Hosted by SECS, University Vegetarians, and the Illinois Student Government.

Political Action Call-in | 3:00-4:00pm, University YMCA
Come learn about two important environmental policies (concerning fracking and pollinators) that the Illinois Government is debating right now, and then contact your representatives to make your voices heard on the issues! Snacks and sweets will be provided! Hosted by the SECS Political Action Committee.

Chaitime with ISA and SECS | 6:00-7:00pm, Asian American Cultural Center
Learn about Asian American influences in environmental activism through a relaxed facilitated discussion! Hosted by SECS and the Indian Student Assocation.


Being Environmentally Sustainable in the Dorms | 9:00-10:00pm, Snyder Hall
Join Vaishnavi Naidu of SECS' Sustainable Business committee at Snyder Hall's weekly "Talk About It Tuesday" event to discuss how to live more sustainably in the dorms!


Sustainable Business Expo | 11:00am-1:30pm, Illini Union
Join Sustainable Business at their annual Earth Week Expo to learn about sustainable businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area and local environmental organizations! U-Cycle, Feed the Thing, the Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant, and The Bike Project are just a few of the businesses you'll have the chance to talk to! The expo will be in Room 104 of the Union. Hosted by the SECS Sustainable Business Committee.

Beyond Fossil Fuels Artist Showcase | 6:30-7:30pm, University YMCA
For this special Earth Week SECS meeting, Beyond Coal will be hosting an all-group meeting where several of the artists from Beyond Fossil Fuels art show will showcase and talk about their work. Please note- this does serve as the weekly SECS meeting! Hosted by UIUC Beyond Coal.


Plant Sale with Red Bison | 10:00am-3:00pm, Main Quad
Our Urban Agriculture committee will be selling succulents that they have been growing this semester, alongside Red Bison. Succulents will be $3.50 a pop, and each purchase will include free native plant seeds as well! Hosted by the SECS Urban Agriculture committee and Red Bison Ecological Restoration.

Green Observer Trivia Night | 8:00-10:00pm, Murphy's Pub
Grab a team and join the Green Observer for some fun environmental themed trivia to celebrate Earth Week! 
$5 per person if you preregister online, $7 per person if you register at the door. Cash is preferred, Venmo is also an option. Teams must contain 3 to 6 members.
Please have ONE person from your team fill out this form:
Feel free to grab some food and chat earlier at 7pm. Bring your friends and celebrate this awesome planet!

Hosted by the Green Observer Magazine.


Annual Clothing Swap | 2:30-5:00pm, University YMCA
Students for Environmental Concerns and Alpha Phi Omega invite you to participate in the Earth Week Clothing Swap! Do some spring cleaning and drop off all your gently used clothing - then swap out your donations for other students’ items. Every item you donate gets you one item at the swap. Last year we had thousands of items to choose from and hundreds of participants! If you didn’t get a chance to donate clothes, don’t worry - we will also be selling them at cheap prices. You can donate your clothes at the SDRP at Ikenberry Commons on April 3rd, 5th, 10th, and 12th from 11am-2pm. We will also have collections bins in the lobby of Allen Hall and at the University YMCA. Alternatively, clothes can be brought to each SECS meeting between 6-8pm on Wednesdays at the YMCA, or to any SECS Earth Week event prior to the swap. Hosted by SECS and Alpha Phi Omega.

BikeFace Friday Ride | 5:00-7:00pm, Campus Bike Shop
Remember BikeFace? We remember, and we want to ride our bikes in memory. Also, bikes are good for the environment, ask Eric! We will meet at the Campus Bike Shop, ride a half hour trail and end at Jupiter's in downtown Champaign! Please bring a bike. Hosted by the SECS Urban Agriculture committee.

SECS Alumni & Student Networking Event | 7:00-9:00pm, Papa Del's Pizza
Join current students, alumni, and friends for pizza and networking. Learn more about SECS’ current projects and catch up with alumni on their current work. Pizza will be provided. Cash bar. Hosted by the University YMCA.


Lecturettes with Herman Sievering and Alumni Lightning Talks | 9:30-11:30am, University YMCA
Join us and SECS founder, Herman Sievering, for a series of three 20 minute short lectures on the following topics: Environmental Teleconnection, Partial Solutions to Climate Change, and Lobbying Your Senators. Mr. Sievering is retired from the University of Colorado-Denver where he taught environmental science. After, breakfast will be served while other SECS alumni give short 5-8 minute lightning talks. Hosted by the University YMCA.

March for Fossil Fuel Divestment | 12:00-1:00pm, Main Quad
Please join Beyond Coal and 50 years of SECS alumni on our March for Divestment. For seven years, UIUC Beyond Coal has been calling for the university to divest its endowment from coal companies, and more recently, fossil fuel companies. The campaign has received support from the student body, Student Senate, and Academic Senate- but the university has been largely unresponsive. We will meet at noon at the YMCA, march around the Quad, and then gather at the Alma Mater for a rally featuring speeches by current Beyond Coal leadership, and SECS alumni who have pledged not to donate to UIUC until divestment has been achieved. If you are an alumni interested in taking this pledge, please follow this link: by UIUC Beyond Coal and the University YMCA.

Celebrating 50 Years of SECS: YMCA Annual Dinner & Auction | 5:00-10:00pm, Hilton Garden Inn
Join us for a celebration of environmental action, tons of great auction items, a wonderful sit-down meal and free-flowing wine and beer, courtesy of Sun Singer Wine and Triptych Brewing. Hosted by the University YMCA.


Alumni Volunteer Day with Red Bison | 1:00-3:00pm, Red Oak Rain Garden
Join us at the Red Oak Rain Garden just south of Allen Hall on EARTH DAY from 1-3pm! We will be removing rocks and felt fabric from the beds to prepare for future plantings! Come out and support native plant gardens! Hosted by the University YMCA, SECS, and Red Bison Ecological Restoration.


Annual Clothing Swap ROUND 2 | 12:00-5:00pm, University YMCA
Due to popular demand, we will be having a second day of clothes swapping with extended hours the following Monday. Don't miss your chance to swap your old clothes and find some new treasures! Hosted by SECS and Alpha Phi Omega.

And that's it! We hope that you're just as excited about these events as we are, and we can't wait to see you this week!

To see additional environmental events happening at the university throughout the month of April, check out this schedule from the Institute of Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Good morning everyone! Today we want to introduce you to Jackie Coreño, one of our Sustainable Business co-chairs. Jackie is a senior majoring in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability, minoring in Atmospheric Science, and earning a certificate in Geographic Information Systems. She has been in SECS since her freshman year, and became chair of Sustainable Business at the start of this year. Jackie is also an intern at the Water Survey Research Center, as well as a member of Alpha Pi Sigma Sorority, Inc., where she serves as both Scholarship Chair and Social Chair.

"One reason why I became interested in saving the environment is that nature is aesthetically pleasing. I love photography and what interested me was nature. It is amazing to see how flowers look with their vibrant colors or how the sun shines between the tree tops. It is soothing to be able to admire nature. Because of this, it should be preserved and cared for – just like anything you love. My love for the environment continues to grow, especially when I travel. Going to Costa Rica allowed me to see nature at its purest state. Being able to hike through the rain forest and volcanoes was breathtaking. Nature is not just beautiful, it is important for life. We should be more aware of the damage that we cause to the environment and the impacts it will have on our future."