Green’ fee proposed to Univ.

Kyle Reynolds and Kyle Reynolds

There has been a lot of talk about going green and three students and a faculty member want to help the University explore all that is green.

Students Jazmine Bennett, Daniel Jacoby, John Dinan and interim Sustainability Coordinator Nicholas Hennessey are working on a plan to raise money for green projects at the University by charging students an optional $5 fee that would show up in their tuition bill.

The plan will be proposed to the University’s Board of Trustees before the end of the current semester and if approved, should be instituted by the beginning of the next academic year, Bennett said.

Students will be able to waive the fee if they wish to, she said.

Bennett came up with the idea after reading about other universities that had instituted a similar fee and had been successful. She said students would be able to give some input on what projects they would like to see invested in.

One project Bennett would like to explore is sub-metering the buildings on campus.

‘All the buildings on campus are on the same meter and I would like to see the University put a sub-metering system in place, so we can see what buildings use up the most energy,’ Bennett said.

She would also like monitors, similar to those in the Business Administration Building, to scroll the sub metering results in different buildings on campus for students to see.

The University is investing in green projects such as using cooking waste to power their lawn mowers and Bennett applauds those efforts, but said the projects the fee will go towards will be focused on the environment, unlike the University projects that focus on cutting costs.

‘I know the utilities department has their own agenda for getting improved in the area [of green technology],’ Bennett said. ‘The University is trying to make money back and they will get some short-term returns, but we are looking at more long-term projects that the University may not want to take risks on.’

She said students should pay the fee to help improve a problem that everyone contributes to.

‘Students, employees and all of us use the University’s resources like buildings and buses and all of this contributes to the University’s carbon footprint,’ Bennett said. ‘So I think we all have a duty and responsibility to try and take away from what we put in.’

The money from the fees would go directly to fund green projects, Hennessey said.

‘To clear up any confusion, the fee would not go to pay anyone’s salary,’ Hennessey said. ‘If they keep this interim position [of sustainability coordinator] around the person in that position will not be paid through this fee. It will all go straight to the activities.’

The three students working on the plan come from different campus organizations; Bennett is a member of BGSU’s Environmental Action Group, Jacoby is a student trustee and Dinan is a member of Undergraduate Student Government.

‘There is a diverse collection of backgrounds working together on this and that shows there is a collective interest in environmental sustainability,’ Hennessey said.

Jacoby said this project is worthwhile because it can help the University become a leader in green technology.

‘We want BGSU to be on the forefront of environmental action,’ Jacoby said.