SUST Symposium 4.1 (Spring 2017) @RooseveltU: Advancing Campus Sustainability, Critiquing Neoliberalism

The ACP 250 Student Orientation Team presents their work, 26 Apr 2017

As part of #EarthMonth2017 at Roosevelt University, the Sustainability Studies Program hosted its Spring 2017 SUST Symposium on Wednesday 4/26 from 2-6pm in RU’s Gage Gallery in Chicago (18 S. Michigan Avenue).

Symposium 4.1 featured nine team presentations by RU undergraduate students in the first-ever section of ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainable University. Following the student presentations, the Symposium featured a keynote address by a special guest speaker, Professor Anthony Zaragoza from the Evergreen State College (Tacoma Campus) in Washington. The setting in the Gage Gallery was apt, as surrounding us was the visual feast of the Rooftop: Second Nature photo exhibit by Brad Temkin, featuring photographs of green “eco-roofs” from around the world.

Student Team Presentations: Campus Sustainability Projects

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Faculty Keynote: Neoliberalism in the Neighborhood

After the round of student presentations and a break for refreshments, our Symposium featured a keynote address by a special guest speaker, Professor Anthony Zaragoza from the Evergreen State College (Tacoma Campus) in Washington, who presented a dynamic talk on social justice, political economy, and community development entitled “Neoliberalism in the Neighborhood.”

The moment was somewhat historic, in that it represented the first faculty presentation at the Roosevelt SUST Symposium since its inception in 2012. Professor Zaragoza’s visit was co-sponsored by Roosevelt’s SUST Program as well as the new Resilience Studies Consortium of US colleges and universities, of which RU is a charter member.

Dr. Anthony Zaragoza speaks at the Spring 2017 SUST Symposium (photo: M. Bryson)

Links to Past Symposia

  • Symposium 1.1 (Fall 2013): Alison Breeding, Kyle Huff, Ron Taylor
  • Symposium 1.2 (Spring 2014): Colleen Dennis, Jordan Ewbank, Mary Beth Radeck
  • Symposium 2.1 (Spring 2015): Melanie Blume, Rebecca Quesnell, Mary Rasic, Emily Rhea
  • Symposium 2.2 (Fall 2015): Shannon Conway, Laura Miller Hill, Karen Craig
  • Symposium 3.1 (Spring 2016): Student teams from SUST 390 The Sustainable Campus (honors); individual presentations by Lindsey Sharp, Cassidy Avent, Tiffany Mucci-Heitman, and Lacy Reyna
Posted in activities, education, events, faculty, presentations, research, Roosevelt, science, social justice, students

World Fair Trade Day Festival in Downtown Chicago Today, May 3rd

This event today is downtown Chicago not only is happening on a rare sunny day this spring, but also dovetails beautifully with the efforts of the RU Green student organization and the Fair Trade campus sustainability student team from SUST 250 this semester to promote Fair Trade on Roosevelt’s campus and work to get the university certified as a Fair Trade institution. To see the Fair Trade team’s presentation from last week’s SUST Symposium, click on the image below:

Pp Fair Trade symposium slides S17


Posted in activities, community, economics, education, ethics, events, food, social justice

Finals Week Assignment: Get Registered for Summer & Fall Classes @RooseveltU!

As the spring semester’s regular classes ended on Monday and we begin Finals Week today at Roosevelt, it’s a great time to take a few minutes’ break from studying and writing papers to get registered for summer and fall classes!

Advising and registration are ongoing this week, so if you’re an @RooseveltU student, (1) look over the Summer and Fall 2017 schedules using this coursefinder, (2) check your remaining course requirements, and (3) email or call your assigned academic advisor with your planned schedule and any questions you have about your upcoming classes.

Your advisor will provide you with an RU Access registration code so you can register. Click on selected titles below for detailed course previews!

Sustainability Studies courses offered in Summer 2017:

SUST 210 Sustainable Future (online, May 30 – Aug 8, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 390 Writing Urban Nature (Chicago, one-week intensive, May 22-26, Prof. Bryson)

Sustainability Studies courses offered in Fall 2017:

ACP 101 Our Sustainable Future (MW, 11am-12:15pm, Prof. Bryson)*
SUST 210 Sustainable Future (T, 2-4:30pm, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 210 Sustainable Future (online, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 220 Water (M, 2-4:30pm, Prof. Bryson)
SUST 230 Food (online, 9/12-12/10)
SUST 240 Waste (W, 2-4:30pm, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 310 Energy & Climate Change (online)
SUST 330 Biodiversity (Field Museum, Th 9am-1pm, Prof. Kerbis)
SUST 350 Service & Sustainability (Eden Place Farm, T 10am-1pm, Prof. Bryson)
SUST 350 Service & Sustainability (online, Prof. Bryson)
SUST 390 Environmental Crime (MW, 12:30-1:45pm, Prof. Green)

* First Year Seminars are open to new full-time undergrads with 12 or fewer hours in transfer credit.

Yes, finals week is a super busy time of the academic year — but don’t neglect getting in touch with your advisor! It’s the best time to get signed up for classes. And for additional useful info, see this Advising Resources page on Prof. Mike Bryson’s faculty website.

Hauling straw in the Eden Place Nature Center's pickup truck during a SUST 350 Service workday on Chicago's South Side, Fall 2014

Hauling straw in the Eden Place Nature Center’s pickup truck during a SUST 350 Service workday on Chicago’s South Side, Fall 2014

Posted in courses, education, Roosevelt, students

Thousands Brave Wind and Rain in People’s Climate March in Chicago on Saturday, 29 Apr 2017

State Street, downtown Chicago, Saturday afternoon 29 Apr 2017 (photo: Sierra Club)

#ClimateMarch #PeoplesClimateChi #ClimateMarchChi

Editor’s Note — The text below is reprinted from Sam Charles’ article “Thousands Rally in Downtown Chicago Against Climate Change” in the Chicago Sun-Times, published online 29 Apr 2017. For local coverage of the march, also see William Lee’s article, “Thousands Turn out in Chicago to Protest Trump’s Ecological Policies,” published 29 Apr 2017 in the Chicago Tribune.

Thousands of people braved miserable weather conditions Saturday afternoon to march through the downtown area, speaking out against climate change.

The march was part of a nationwide series of protests expected to number more than 300, occurring on President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office.

Marchers, who carried just as many umbrellas as signs, made their way from Federal Plaza to the south bank of the Chicago River at Wabash, just across from Trump Tower.

Jeanie Guenther, of Huntley, joined the marchers because while she takes issue with much of Trump’s agenda, the environment takes priority.

“I feel so strongly that there are so many problems right now with the Trump Administration in that we can’t sit back and say nothing,” Guenther said. “We have to make our voices heard, and especially for the environment because without the planet we have nothing.”

In recent years, as protests throughout the downtown area have become a more common sight, one of the most frequently heard chants has been, “Whose streets? Our streets!”

On Saturday, that chant was tweaked to, “Whose planet? Our planet!”

As the group marched along Wacker Drive, just across the river from Trump Tower, many began to boo the skyscraper and chant “Shame.”

Some signs read, “Our oceans are rising and so are we” and “There is no Planet B.” Many took direct jabs at the president — a frequent occurrence since his election — with one reading “Global warming is not fake news.”

Eugene Wollaston, of Naperville, said the size of the crowd, given the conditions, was encouraging.

“I’m impressed with how many people are out here in this really lousy weather,” he said. “There are a lot of committed people for change.”

In his federal budget proposed earlier this year, Trump wants to gut the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He’s also said he intended to “completely zero out” $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restorative Initiative.

Last month, Trump signed an order that initiated a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

The regulation, which was President Barack Obama’s signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.

For Anna Gifford, Saturday’s march was far from the last time she planned to speak out against climate change.

“I think it’s important to demonstrate what our feeling are regarding the environment and to hopefully, get somebody to listen,” said Gifford, also of Huntley. “I think, over time, we can’t be ignored.”

Posted in climate change, economics, energy, ethics, events, news, policy, social justice

People’s Climate March in Chicago: Today 4/29, Noon-4pm


April 29, 2017 @ Noon
Federal Plaza (230 S Dearborn)

March for our climate + our communities.

Rally @ Federal Plaza (230 S Dearborn), then march to the Trump Tower
RSVP here  : :  Share on Facebook
#ClimateMarch #PeoplesClimateChi #ClimateMarchChi

Editor’s Note — The information in this post is provided by the March organizers, Food and Water Watch – Midwest and the Chicago Group of the Sierra Club.

Things to Wear/Bring:

  • Weather-appropriate clothes
  • Water bottle & snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Friends/family/neighbors
  • Note: If you are bringing drums, please wait to use them until after the rally starts. The American Indian Center is starting the rally with a drum ceremony, and has asked to only have drumming occur after that opening ceremony has ended.

Plan for March:

Rally at Federal Plaza starts at noon. From there we’ll march north to the Trump Tower. When we arrive across the river from the Trump Tower we’ll hold hands along the river between State + Michigan to show that we’re standing together to protect our communities, land, water, and air. The rally is permitted and we have communicated with law enforcement about the march route. We’ll have environmental justice and frontline communities lead the march.

What is an environmental justice community?

Low income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution. These environmental justice frontline communities have a long history of organizing to combat pollution and other threats to people’s well-being, and are key to providing leadership in building real solutions to achieve climate justice. We’re grateful to the environmental justice and frontline organizations who’ve been involved in building this march! They will be leading the march, joined by residents from environmental justice and frontline communities. If you live in a environmental justice or frontline community, please join marchers near the front!


We’re marching for our communities + our future. Read our demands here.  These demands were shaped by the needs and voices of environmental justice communities.

Who is speaking?

  • Sarina DiMaso, American Indian Center
  • Octavius Hayes, Clean Power Lake County
  • Nancy Meza, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
  • David Hunt, Food & Water Watch
  • John O’Grady, AFGE Local 704
  • Cheryl Johnson, People for Community Recovery
  • Melissa Cardoza + Karla Lara, Environmental Justice Leaders from Honduras
  • Delia Barajas, Ixchel -Berwyn + Cicero
  • Naomi Davis, Blacks in Green
  • Troy Hernandez, Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization
  • Jose Olivia, Food Chain Workers’ Alliance
  • Bryant Williams, Southeast Environmental Task Force
  • Sheilah Garland, National Nurses United
  • A worker organizing with the Fight for Fifteen

Local Organizations Endorsing the March:

Action Corps Chicago
AFGE Local 704
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
American Indian Center
Animalia Project
Autonomous Tenants Union
Blacks in Green
Blue-Green Alliance
CARE-Sexual Health Advocacy
Cause for Concern – Indivisibles
Chicago Jobs with Justice
Chicago Democratic Socialists of America
Chicago 350
Chicago Sinai Enviroment Committee
Chicago Strategies
Chicago Teachers Union
Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action
Chi Youth Nations
Circle Pines Center
Clean Power Lake County
Climate Justice Alliance
Climate Reality Project
Conceivable Future
Congregation of St. Joseph
DeKalb Stands with the Women’s March Chicago
Democratic Party of Evanston – Environment Action Group
Desert Storm Think Tank and All Veterans’ Advocate
Earthy Robot
Elgin Green Groups
Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition
Faith in Place
50th Ward Green Party
Fight for Fifteen
Food & Water Watch
Food Recovery Network
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice
Frack Free Illinois / Chicagoland Oil By Rail
Friends Who March
Go Green Illinois
Go Green Northbrook
Greater Oak Park Democratic Socialists of America
Grower’s Guild
Habitat 2030
Illinois Green Party
Indivisible Chicago
Indivisible Illinois
IXCHEL Environmental Justice in Cicero & Berwyn
Justice for All
350 Kishwaukee
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Loyola University Chicago Mycology Club
Mom’s Clean Air Force Illinois
Moving Forward Chicago
National Nurses United
Natural Resources Defense Council
New York – Chicago Bullet Train
Nuclear Energy Information Services
Oak Park ClimateAction Committee
Parliament of the World Religions
People for Community Recovery
Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Refuse Fascism Chicago
Rising Tide
Rohingya Culture Center
Roosevelt Institute at DePaul
Ruthless Readers Book Club
Save Our Illinois Land
Sierra Club
Southeast Environmental Task Force
Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke
Student Environmental Alliance of Loyola University Chicago
Students For Reproductive Justice
Students for Worker Justice (Loyola Chicago)
The People’s Lobby
Unitarian Universailist Advocacy Network of Illinois
UChicago Resists
Union of Concerned Scientists
Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin
World Wildlife Fund


Posted in climate change, energy, ethics, events, social justice

SUST Symposium 2017 Today in @RooseveltU’s Gage Gallery (2-6pm)

In celebration of #EarthMonth2017, the Roosevelt community is warmly invited to attend today’s Spring 2017 SUST Symposium, held from 2-6pm at RU’s Gage Gallery in Chicago (18 S. Michigan Ave.) and video-conferenced live via Zoom.

Students in ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainable University clean up the banks of Bubbly Creek on Chicago’s SW Side (photo: K. Fortina)

Symposium 4.1 (Spring 2017) features nine team presentations by RU undergraduate students in the first-ever section of ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainable University. From 2:15-4:45pm, teams will give 12min presentations describing a wide range of campus sustainability projects on bottled water policy, environmental communication, energy conservation, fair trade, learning and living communities, recycling and composting, rooftop gardening, student orientation, and water conservation.

Dr. A. Zaragoza, Evergreen State College

Then at 5pm, we’ll feature a keynote address by a special guest speaker, Professor Anthony Zaragoza from the Evergreen State College (Tacoma Campus) in Washington, who will present a dynamic talk on social justice and community development entitled “Neoliberalism in the Neighborhood.” Professor Zaragoza’s visit is co-sponsored by Roosevelt’s SUST Program as well as the new Resilience Studies Consortium of US colleges and universities, of which RU is a charter member.

Zoom videoconference info for off-campus attendees:

  • Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
  • Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +14086380968,867950205# or +16465588656,867950205#
  • Or Telephone: +1 855 880 1246 (US Toll Free)
  • Meeting ID: 867 950 205

Light refreshments will be provided, and the RU community as well as the general public are welcome. Click here for info on previous symposia, and check out some of the other great #RUEarthMonth2017 events planned at RU below! (We will update this list throughout the month.)

Through 5/6 — Rooftop: Second Nature (Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave.): photography by Brad Temkin featuring ecoroofs from cities around the world, including several here in Chicago.

FairTradeRU2017SprWed 4/26 — De-Stress Event (11am-3pm, WB Lobby): Hosted by the RU Bookstore; featuring a partnered blindfolded coloring competition, with a Fair Trade-certified T-shirt as a prize; snacks provided!

Wed 4/26 — SUST Symposium (2-6pm, Gage Gallery): RSVP to Mike Bryson (; refreshments and convivial conversation provided! See above for more info.

Th 4/27 — SUST Faculty Seminar with Dr. Anthony Zaragoza (12-1:30pm, WB 1215): seminar luncheon for RU faculty with visiting Resilience Studies Consortium scholar, Anthony Zaragoza of the Evergreen State College’s Tacoma Program; RSVP to Mike Bryson ( by Mon 4/24.

Fri 4/28 — RU Honors Research Day (9am-3pm, AUD Congress Lounge and 232 series): honors students present their senior research projects on a wide range of fascinating topics.

Sat 4/29 — Talkin’ Green Rooftops (10-11am): photographer Brad Temkin and SUST prof Mike Bryson talk about the Gage Gallery photo exhibit Rooftop: Second Nature on the Mike Nowak Show (AM 1590 WCGO)

Sat 4/29 — Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (9am-5pm, RU Chicago Campus): one of the largest college research symposia in the US; observer registration info here.

Sat 4/29 — People’s Climate March in Chicago (12-4pm, Federal Plaza, downtown Chicago): organized by the People’s Climate Movement and sponsored by the Sierra Club; registration info here.

Sat 4/29 — Chicago Humanities Festival events (downtown Chicago): SUST co-founder Dr. Carl Zimring of the Pratt Institute (NY) gives at talk entitled “What We’re Throwing Away” (12-1pm, Feinberg Theater, 610 S. Michigan Ave.) and signs his new book, Aluminum Upcycled; Session on “Keeping Our Water Safe” (2-3pm, First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington). Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 teachers and students.

Posted in activities, education, events, faculty, presentations, research, Roosevelt, science, social justice, students

Waste Not, Want Not: Assessing Residence Hall Recycling @RooseveltU

By Kyria Fortina for ACP/SUST 250

One of the many campus initiatives and activities being tackled by the students in ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainability University this spring semester is waste reduction through improved recycling and composting. Our Recycling and Compost Team includes undergrads Rita Avdi, Kristina Grewe, Melissa Ruby, Carli Steinhauser, and Emma Vuillemot, each of whom contributes in different ways through their diverse ideas, academic backgrounds, and ambitions.

Sorting waste by category prior to weighing (photo: M. Bryson)

After the entire ACP/SUST 250 class ventured to Bubbly Creek on April 12th to clean up litter from the shoreline, this group headed back to RU’s campus to conduct a Waste Audit of one floor in Roosevelt’s WB residence hall. This empirical study was undertaken in part to address the group’s main goal to  provide further information on Roosevelt’s recycling and composting efforts” as well as engage students on better recycling and waste reduction practices.

The waste audit process involves systematically going through, separating, and weighing all the trash and recycling — literally piece by piece! — collected from a given space at the university over a certain time-frame (in this case, Monday 4/10 and Tuesday 4/11 in the WB dorm). The results of this audit will be revealed at tomorrow’s SUST Symposium, which starts at 2pm in RU’s Gage Gallery. All are encouraged to attend this “Big Reveal”! (Check out this post for results from a prior audit back in Fall 2014.)

Finished at last! It’s hard to overestimate how much fun rooting through garbage is. (Photo: M. Bryson)

Prior to conducting their audit, an initial assessment by the group showed that students and faculty need more information about the recycling opportunities available to them in the different University buildings. Besides assessing what we do here at Roosevelt, the group also looked at other universities and studied their approach to recycling. One useful example was UIC as a starting point for how they could build upon and improve Roosevelt’s recycling practices, as UIC effectively labels recycling containers to maximize waste diversion.

Consequently, part of the Team’s effort went into improving the message and design of informational posters to help student and faculty understand better the how-tos of recycling and composting. Look for their new signage around campus this spring!

New signage for waste stations developed by the 250 Recycling/Composting team this spring (Photo: E. Vuillemot)

Text by Kyria Fortina; edited by Yasmeen Lipprand and Mike Bryson.

Posted in activities, courses, education, recycling, Roosevelt, students, waste