By Jill Radwin
Student Forum plans to initiate a Vice President of Sustainability position to the Executive Board for the upcoming year. VP of Academics Andrew Davis ‘11 proposed the idea for the new position.
The VP of Sustainability would act as a student representative for Union’s environmental programs and committees. This representative would chair or co-chair Union’s green fee if the initiative passes and would report back to Student Forum on its progress.
The green fee is a pending initiative to allocate $10 per student per year from the Student Activities fund to go towards supporting sustainability programs and events on campus.
About five schools currently have a Green Fee and several more, including RPI, are looking to adopt one. According to Student Forum President Andrew Churchill ‘11, voting for the green fee will likely take place in week nine after budget proposal meetings are completed next week.
“The reason we are not voting now is because we are trying to make sure it’s compatible with the rules we have in place because if we do this it is something that’s going to work. I think taking two or three extra weeks to decide will probably be a good thing,” said Churchill.
Director of Student Activities Matt Milless has taken the lead in getting petitions to support the initiative. Others involved with instituting the VP of Sustainability position include Erin Delman ’12 and Meghan Haley Quigley ‘11. Delman is already active in Student Forum committees and U Sustain.
In 2010 she received the Udall scholarship for student environmental leadership. Haley-Quigley is involved in U-Sustain and the Environmental Club. She is also actively involved in Ozone House, which promotes green living, and the weekly Ozone Café.
Churchill notes that if the members of Student Forum can successfully change the Constitution, they will be able hold a special election within the first three weeks of the upcoming fall term. As with the other executive positions, students from all four class years would vote for the candidates.
Although no one has directly expressed interest in the position yet, Churchill notes that a few names, including Delman and Stacie Schwartz ‘13, have been thrown around based on their environmental involvement on campus.
The VP of Sustainability will work separately from U Sustain, which is a committee of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Student Forum cannot allocate any funding to this committee because professors and faculty help support it, whereas Student Forum is run entirely by students.
The VP of Sustainability would become the eighth position on Student Forum’s executive board and would greatly contribute to Union’s environmental initiatives.
The college is new to Princeton Review’s list of 311 Green Colleges based on a survey the Review conducted in 2010 and would help build Union’s green programs in the future.