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New SIUE action group looks to a more sustainable new year

This spring semester, the newly restructured Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Sustainability Action Group will begin dialogues across campus in an effort to reach more sustainability goals.

frey spurlock connie“The university’s sustainability group is transitioning from taking an advisory approach to being action-oriented, because we want to do sustainability differently in light of changes on campus,” said Connie Frey Spurlock, PhD, associate professor in the Departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, and longtime sustainability leader and advocate at the university.

“It’s a good time to reconsider the group’s structure and function following the loss of funding for the Office for Sustainability and the transition from former Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher to his successor Rich Walker. The hiatus gave us time to reimagine what sustainability could look like at SIUE.”

Walker and Frey Spurlock are facilitating the new direction. The new vision reflects the need to involve leadership and expertise from all areas of the campus and community. Every part of the university will be encouraged to be involved with sustainability.

“We want to start with two or three sustainability initiatives,” she added. “The ideas are flexible. We will work with the campus to identify what shape and form the group wants to take.”

Frey Spurlock (shown) noted two sustainability interests that already have momentum behind them – energy and food studies. Faculty, staff, students or community members interested in making these areas more sustainable, should contact Frey Spurlock at

“Once these initial groups are established, we can create new interest groups,” said Frey Spurlock. “We want to address all areas of interest across campus.”

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