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Category: Video Highlights
Chancellor Michael Amiridis and the UIC Office of Sustainability announced four climate commitments during a ceremony Tuesday that aim to confront the challenges of climate change and sustainability on campus.
“Today’s announcement officially establishes UIC as a thought leader in sustainability and higher education, though we have been engaged in the sustainability movement for years,” Amiridis said.
Last summer, Amiridis tasked the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy with creating climate commitment action items.
The committee, led by UIC registrar Rob Dixon and physics professor George Crabtree, developed four major goals:
- Carbon neutral campus: reduce carbon emissions
- Zero waste campus: reduce, reuse and recycle to divert 90 percent of waste now sent to landfills
- Net zero water campus: increase water efficiency to use no more water than the amount that falls within UIC’s boundaries
- Biodiverse campus: create a resilient campus landscape that supports plants and animals to increase biodiversity on campus
“I’m glad that the committee set the bar high,” Amiridis said. “If you set the bar high, then we will work to met these commitments.”
The Climate Commitment document, available online at sustainability.uic.edu, includes aspirational goals and short-term action items that the campus can implement to meet the commitments.
“UIC is a wonderful place where these kinds of aspirations can be reached,” Dixon said.
UIC is at the forefront of “a movement that will lay the foundation for a much healthier campus, for a much healthier city and eventually for a much healthier planet for the future,” Amiridis said.
The goals enhance the 2009 UIC Climate Action plan, which pledges to reduce the university’s carbon emissions 40 percent below 2004 levels by 2030, and 80 percent below 2004 levels by 2050.
UIC has been a leader of the sustainability movement in higher education since becoming an inaugural signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007. UIC was among the first of a group of universities to sign Second Nature’s newly Climate Commitment expanded action plan in 2015, which includes taking steps toward helping the Chicago region become more resilient to a changing climate.
Cindy Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability, noted that the announcement ceremony itself followed the commitments. Only natural light from the windows in the East Terrace of Student Center East provided lighting, refreshments were locally sourced, composting was available and reusable servicewear was provided.
“Everything that we need for our survival and wellbeing depends directly or indirectly on our environment,” she said. “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to sustainability. With these climate commitments, we are taking on a role in working toward the solution.”
The Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy is also addressing teaching and learning opportunities in sustainability, Klein-Banai said.
“We are missing a key opportunity if we are not educating our students in the area of climate change,” she said.
By Christy Levy
Learn about the pre-health tracks (including pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-dentistry, and pre-pharmacy, among others) at UIC’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The College of Nursing’s M. Christine Schwartz Experiential Learning Laboratory provides students with hands-on clinical experience using a variety of simulation activities performed on realistic mannequins.
Video By Rachel Glass
UIC News Videographer
Curated by Olga Stefan, the Gallery 400 exhibit Few Were Happy with Their Condition portrays Romania since the 1989 fall of communism and in several other Warsaw Pact countries. The exhibit is on view through March 12 and includes videos, films and photographs by 17 contemporary Romanian artists.
Gallery 400 is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture, and design since it was founded in 1983. The gallery is located at the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago, 400 South Peoria Street (MC 034), in Chicago.
Gallery 400 is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 6pm and on Saturdays from noon to 6pm and by appointment. Admission to the gallery is FREE.
The current exhibit portrays life in post-communist Romania, a time of hope and disappointment, in which the transition seems to continue forever, and during which neoliberalism and communist-style corruption and methodologies clash and mirror each other constantly.
In 1989 the Romanian Revolution—a period of violent civil unrest throughout the country—aligned with revolutions unfolding the same year in several Warsaw Pact countries, including Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union. The Romanian Revolution was the last removal of a Communist regime in a Warsaw Pact country during the events of 1989, and the only one that violently overthrew a country’s government and executed its leader.
Few Were Happy with Their Condition focuses on a period of time when the desire for freedom materialized into economic uncertainty typical of the capitalist system, as well as profound corruption at all levels of society that continues to this day. The weight of the communist past, with its crimes and the oppression of the public sphere on one hand, and the poverty and instability of the post-communist era on the other, has resulted in a trauma that permeates human activity and emotion and is highly visible in artistic production.
Focusing on the contemporary mediums of video, film, and photography, Few Were Happy… reflects the feelings of discontentment within Romania’s contemporary society, in a world that is still torn between the communist and post-communist periods, affected psychologically by its history while attempting to transition into an uncertain, yet longed-for future. The artists in the exhibition, part of a new generation still trying to carve a space for debate and critical analysis in art and life, position themselves against the nation’s past and also the West, thus attempting to create a new contemporary identity.
Few Were Happy with Their Condition presents a variety of works, from analog to digital photography, short films and documentaries, to moving image installations, encouraging various forms of reception and relation to the image. Through the use of these contemporary media, the artists in Few Were Happy reflect the need for immediacy and urgency in expression, and the technology and preoccupations of our time. Part of a new generation of artists that started their careers in the late 90s, they look outward with critiques of society, the political climate and social injustice; backward toward the country’s dark past; but also inward, with personal narratives and reflections on the human condition.
Presenting Artists include: Dan Acostioaei, József Bartha, Irina Botea, Razvan Botis, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Ștefan Constantinescu, Alexandra Croitoru, Cristina David, Bogdan Gîrbovan, Alex Mirutziu, Ciprian Mureșan, Vlad Nancă, Mircea Nicolae, Cristi Pogăcean, Ștefan Sava and Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor.
For more information about Gallery 400: http://gallery400.uic.edu/
An Li and Karl Rockne have been working together for more than five years to monitor and measure environmental pollutants in Great Lakes sediment.
Through the Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program, Li, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health, and Rockne, professor and interim head of civil and materials engineering in the UIC College of Engineering, have collected more than 1,000 sediment samples in the lakes.
Rockne analyzes the physical structure of the sediment samples, looking for information that will provide clues of how the sediment deposited and what that means for the timing or speed with which chemical pollutants have accumulated in the lake bottom mud.
Li looks at the chemical composition of the samples to identify what kinds of industrial pollutants are present. These typically fall into one of two categories: legacy chemicals, or those that may persist in the environment even though their production has ceased (the pesticide DDT, for example) and chemicals of emerging concern. These chemicals can be known or unknown.
One reason the surveillance program is so important, Li said, is that “we need to constantly be on the lookout for the presence of new chemicals in the environment that may be hazardous to health.”
Li recently discovered a suite of chemicals called polyhalogenated carbazoles in the deep sediments of Lake Michigan. These are similar in structure to dioxins and PCBs, but more research needs to be done to determine where they came from and if they are toxic. “We keep finding new things — that’s the fun part,” Li said.
Story By Sharon Parmet
Antonio Reyes López highlights the local sustainability plan and victories of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization during a “Zona Abierta” session organized by the UIC Latino Cultural Center. More about the LVEJO here. This program was recorded by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).