By Emerson Andrews, SCIF Coordinator
“SCIF”; you might’ve heard about it in the classroom, or maybe saw the flyers during welcome week. Of course it could be just another mysterious campus acronym, but if you’re a student with an eye for sustainability and desire to make a difference – then you need to know about the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF).
Each semester $2.50 of every students’ tuition goes to SCIF and is returned to the student body in the form of sustainable grants; these grants fund a diverse range of sustainable projects here on campus. Past students have used SCIF grants to purchase solar panels, build a beehive network, and support their unique research. Students, faculty, and staff can apply for the level of funding that best suits their project: microgrants – for project costs of less than $1000, small grants – for project costs between $1,000 and $5,000, and large grants – for project costs of more than $5,000. No matter the project, the keyword for SCIF is SUSTAINABLE! What does that mean? Well, a sustainable project includes or explores one or more of the following elements:
- Greenhouse gas reductions
- Energy conservation
- Water conservation
- Sewage and storm water output reductions
- All types of pollution reduction
- Hazardous waste
- Solid waste
- Liquid waste
- Gaseous emissions
- Operations improvements that decrease environmental impacts
- Environmental procurement practices
- Environmental leadership development within the University
- Number of individuals with improved environmental literacy and increased levels of participation in conservation activities
- Education of and reputation building with surrounding community
- Projects that have quantifiable payback (financial, environmental, communal)
The Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund aims to sponsor sustainable changes that YOU want to see on campus, be creative. But don’t forget to reflect on how this opportunity can serve you.
SCIF is helpful for multiple reasons:
- Access to real money – The cost of our ideas can sometimes get in the way of project execution, but with SCIF, funding is no longer a hurdle.
- Work alongside first-rate professors – SCIF projects allow you to get to know your professors outside of the classroom.
- Build up that resume – Get real world experience before graduation. It’s always nice to have an extraordinary bullet point on your resume.
- Help campus become more sustainable – Your projects have the ability to influence University progress toward climate neutrality.
- Leave a legacy – Once you complete a SCIF project, you can walk away knowing that you helped make campus more sustainable.
Whether you’re working on a project for class, or solely have a great idea for campus, make sure to consider SCIF. The applications are easy, the SCIF Coordinator is resourceful, and the possibilities are endless.