Friday, December 14, 2012

Funding Sustainability: $25,000 Available for Innovative Student Projects

Two years ago, students collected 600+ signatures from Union students approving the allocation of $5 from each student’s Student Activities fees to a fund to be used for projects that would have a measurable reduction of our ecological footprint. Petitioning for signatures lead to many long meetings with Student Forum, the creation of the VP of Sustainability position on Student Forum, the writing of Bylaws and thus The Union College Green Fee was born.

This past fall, the Green Fee Governance Committee (GFGC), charged with the responsibility of advertising, overseeing the application process as well as proper allocation of funds, has worked very hard to frame the first Request for Proposal (RFP) of The Union College Green Fee.

What exactly is the Green Fee you might ask?
The short answer is: $25K waiting to be used by Union students for sustainable projects.

Prior to the 2012-2013 academic year, Union has offered Presidential Green Grants (PGG’s), which have awarded a maximum of $2K to finance two types of sustainable projects. The first type is an on-campus project that lowers our carbon footprint. The second type is a research project with measures geared towards improving environmental conditions on a local or global scale. The funding of the PGG’s has and continues to be funded by President Ainlay’s Office as well as the Mellon Foundation Grant and is available to students, faculty & staff.

While $2K is more than adequate to satisfy a variety of smaller projects, it can be minimal for a larger-scale project. Potential projects include: installation of a solar panel array, a new bike sharing program, or a green roof that $2K would not cover. This is why a portion of students Student Activity Fee is funneled into a Green Fee Fund, which makes $25K available to Union students to see their sustainability projects realized.

So do you want 25 thousand dollars?

In order to access the fund, Union students can submit their proposals to the Green Fee Governance Committee, who will review proposals and allocate funding. The first round of proposals are due by the end of week 3 of winter term (January 25th, 2013), so start planning now!

Make sure to visit the  Garnet Goes Green Facebook page to locate the proposal guidelines and application. They are located in the “Photos” section.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Chair or Vice Chair of the Green Fee Governance Committee.
-Chair: Jordan Pulling- 
-Vice Chair: Maxfield Fey-

Remember, you could go down in history as the backbone of an amazing sustainability project at Union!

Thanks and Happy Holidays from the Green Fee Governance Committee.