Catholic Colleges and Universities Recognized for their Green Initiatives

Catholic universities that have taken Pope Francis’s messages found in Laudato Si’ seriously have been recognized by the Sierra Club’s national magazine. Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Diego, and Loyola University Chicago have been recognized as members of the top 20 green colleges and universities in North America. According to a press release, the schools were rated as “have displayed a deep and thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues, and encouraging environmental responsibility.”

Loyola Marymount University made significant changes, as seen by their jump in rankings from the mid-60s to number six. They are also the first Catholic college or university on the list. The university now has 90,000 square feet of solar panels, an irrigation system that uses reclaimed water, and a university-led recycling plant. They also plan to “divert all food waste by 2018.”

University of San Diego also made significant improvements jumping from number 83 to number 10 in 2017. The University took Pope Francis’s mission to heart by listing “care for our common home” as part of their university mission. It also operates one of San Diego’s only electronic waste recycling centers, and has saved more than 10 million kilowatt hours and 30 million gallons of water annually since 2010.

Loyola University Chicago still remains ranked in the top 20 schools. This year Loyola students partnered with the Archdiocese of Chicago “to conduct energy audits on Catholic churches, cemeteries and hospitals as well as opened a student-run green café and a Compost Collection Network where students train local businesses to reduce waste.”

The scoring was based on 11 categories including energy, investments, good academics, planning, and water. The rankings showcase universities and colleges green initiatives and allow for indications of the campus’s sustainability efforts.

You can view the full article here.

 

Loyola University Chicago Featured on EcoAffect

Loyola University Chicago was featured on EcoAffect as winner of the 2016 Climate Leadership Award. The article focused on how climate change action is rooted in Catholic identity for Loyola University Chicago:

“As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Loyola is guided by the responsibility to care for our world and especially those who are suffering the most. They’ve made climate change a priority for several reasons:

  • Loyola’s commitment to protecting the vulnerable predisposes them to address issues of global and generational inequality – and climate change will exacerbate social justice issues globally and locally
  • As a research institution, many of their students and faculty are seeing the impacts of climate change in their fields of study
  • They believe it is much more efficient to prevent problems than respond to catastrophes”

Loyola created a three part action plan, addressing climate policies on campus, creating curriculum around climate, and developing community development.  Details on these three areas are available in the full article here.

Congratulations to Loyola University Chicago for their great work!

Video Conference: Supporting Undocumented Students in a New Political Landscape

Join Ignatian Solidarity Network on Thursday, February 16 at 3 PM EST for an online conversation with Jesuit college and university faculty and administrators on how to support students who are undocumented. A new political landscape in the U.S. has brought with it unique realities for people in the without documentation, including students at Jesuit colleges and universities. How are faculty and administrators responding to the changing reality facing these students?

Panelists include:

Jennifer Ayala, Ph.D.
Director of The Center for Undocumented Students
Saint Peter’s University

Anna J. Brown
Chair, Department of Political Science
Saint Peter’s University

Kevin Mahaney
Associate Director of Student Financial Services
Georgetown University

Arelis Palacios
Undocumented Students Advisor, Division of Student Affairs
Georgetown University

Joe Saucedo
Director, Department of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs
Loyola University Chicago

To learn more or to register, visit the Ignatian Solidarity Network website.

Catholic Colleges Host Events in Solidarity with Immigrants

Twelve Catholic colleges and universities hosted events in solidarity with immigrant brothers and sisters on January 19, as a part of the Ignatian Solidarity Network‘s call to prayer, Prayers of Light.

Saint Peter’s University hosted a prayer service featuring a student choir and students sharing their experience of being undocumented. The service ended with an opportunity to contact Congress on behalf of humane immigration policies.

Students at Loyola University Maryland held a walking candlelight vigil during the busy lunch hour at the campus student center.

Other colleges and universities that held events for the day of prayer include: Fairfield University, Xavier University, John Carroll University, Canisius College, Loyola University of Chicago, Marquette University, Saint Louis University, Gonzaga University, University of San Francisco, and Spring Hill College.

The purpose of the call to prayer was to illuminate, through solidarity and action, the dignity of our immigrant brothers and sisters, and the value of each person’s contribution to our country.  To see prayers and resources related to the event, visit the Ignatian Solidarity Network website.

How are you practicing solidarity on your campus? Share your story with us! Email Lexie Bradley.

Video: Creating Safe Spaces for Undocumented Students on Campus

The Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office at Loyola University Chicago , partnering with the Ignatian Solidarity Network, have shared a video presentation from their “Undocumented Students Ally Trainings” program. This video focuses on skills to understand the value and importance of exploring the experiences and perspectives of undocumented students. The training session aims to generate knowledge for self-learning and to increase on-campus support for undocumented students.

At Loyola University Chicago, upon completing the training, trainees receive a placard that recognizes them as allies and as points of support for undocumented students on campus. The goal is that participants display these placards in their work area to invite questions and/or dialogue about the issues that impact this community.  For more information, see the blog post from Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Catholic Colleges Featured on Sierra Club’s Cool School’s List

Ten Catholic colleges and universities were featured as 2016 Cool Schools in Sierra Magazine. This list measures colleges in their sustainability efforts in energy, investments, co-curricular, food, innovation, academics, planning, purchasing, transport, waste, and water. Colleges reported their programs and initiatives through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a program of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Schools included are Loyola University of Chicago (featured in the Top 20 Cool Schools), Aquinas College, Creighton University, Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Saint Louis University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, St. John’s University, and Villanova University.

Congratulations to the colleges on their sustainability initiatives!