GFC Formalizes Spring Plans for Environmental Proposals on NEIU’s Campus

 a solitary oak tree is fenced off in NEIUs Arboretum in this north-facing photograph with the WTTW building in the background
a solitary oak tree is fenced off in NEIU’s Arboretum in this north-facing photograph with the WTTW building in the background
Ananth Prabhu

The Green Fee Committee (GFC) met for the second time in the Spring 2024 semester on Friday, March 8, 2024 to formalize the plans since the prior meeting on Jan. 29th. The purpose of this meeting was to continue discussion about the environmental health status of NEIU and vote on the ongoing proposals to be implemented for future semesters.

Kimberly Rice, GFC student chairperson and Biology major, got the ball rolling by making announcements about the $5,000 environmental scholarship proposal.

 “Finance and legal got back to us and said that it’s not possible to go ahead with that proposal due to the language in the [GFC] Charter,” Rice said.

There are possibilities of “amending the charter to allow for more extensive or inclusive projects,” Rice said.

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When it comes to the CollideEscape screening proposal, “adding additional funding for the bird strike implementation is something that we definitely need to move [on],” Rice said. The GFC members unanimously voted yes on the bird strike implementation on the windows.

This is a map of NEIU’s campus with the locations of 70 bird collisions plotted from the Fall 2022 Semester. Map was created by Dr. Beth Reinke, Associate Professor in the Biology Department. (Ananth Prabhu)

“The production of the [bird death prevention] product itself is already under way which is really great,” said Jonathan Scott-Haines, undergraduate student in Biology, “Which is going to go through all the breezeways.”

The delay of installation was because the bird strike material is weather-dependent, and “it does have to be warming up, they say above 50° [Fahrenheit],” said Scott-Haines. 

The other dependent factor was “coordinating with facilities to make sure that there’s no other projects [going on]” since other activities may be happening in the breezeways. Scott-Haines’s plan was successfully implemented by the beginning of April, as indicated by the dotted pattern that is currently visible from the inside of the breezeways.

Scott-Haines and the Fall 2022’s Biology 324 Ornithology class collected data from the previous migration season and found 70 birds that died at NEIU, according to Dr. Beth Reinke, associate professor in the Biology Department, and Public Information Relations Anna Cannova.

“Over the last 6 months, at least since last August, I believe, we’ve picked up a lot of [injured and dead] birds,” Fred Rivera, Facilities Management Representative and Superintendent of Buildings said. “It’s been a while and it gets dried out, and I’ve spoken to the window washers to make sure they don’t purposely take off any decals [since August].”  

Rivera was informed by Dr. Reinke that when dead birds are found on NEIU’s three campuses to “call the Biology office and we’ll come get them because we keep them [since] we have the permits,” said Dr. Reinke. According to Rivera, a call for a dead bird was made at El Centro during the morning prior to the meeting and required him and his team to pick it up. 

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