Vote yes to raise sustainabilty fee

On March 2 and 3, students will vote on a variety of candidates for student senate and trustee, as well as many campus proposals. One of the questions students will encounter on that day is “Do you support increasing the $5 per semester Sustainable Campus Fee to a refundable $14 to expand the student-allocated funding available for clean energy and sustainable campus initiatives?”

We urge you to vote ‘yes’ to this increase of the Student Sustainable Campus Fee in order to ensure a greener future for our campus.

In 2007, an initial fee of $5 was implemented on our campus and, since then, we have reaped the benefits of increased funds for sustainability.

So far, we have seen the success of “green” campus buildings like the Business Instructional Facility. Innovations such as green roofing and solar arrays in this building would not have been possible without the Sustainable Campus Fee that we are currently paying. The fee has also gone to pay for projects including energy-efficient LED lighting in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the student farm.

But this is not enough. We are in favor of this increase because we think it is necessary to invest now in green practices so future University students will be able to reap the benefits.

Right now, our University’s administration is in a period of transition. Sustainability may not be a top priority for many officials on this campus. But it is through increased funds and continued support of missions such as these that we can continue to “green” our campus and ensure a bright future for students and staff alike.

Sure, we can turn off the lights or unplug appliances when leaving a room. In the end, however, we need to support green initiatives and contribute to these causes to ensure bigger campus projects are completed successfully.

Some campus projects that this fee increase would enable include restoring local prairies, funding the annual solar decathlon and fitting the Krannert Art Museum with a green roof. These projects set forth a positive image of our campus and show our ongoing commitment to sustainability. When we have campus buildings like BIF, we are seen as innovative and garner a great deal of positive promotion.

It is also an investment that will pay off financially through decreased energy bills in the future. The successes of such projects is well-documented.

Please make your voice heard during this student election and support this fee increase. For the price of one meal at a restaurant on Green St., you can support ongoing campus projects and the “greening” of our University.