An additional five dollars in tuition doesn’t sound like it’ll go very far, but with a little over 3,000 students, that money adds up fast.
Included in our tuition, there is a small fee that is set aside for what is called the Green Energy Fund. Every trimester we pay this fee and it is send to a separate fund to be spent on a student’s proposal for research and the purchase of green energy technologies on campus.
This fund was made to provide students with a forum and an opportunity to take control of how the school spends our money on campus.
According to the by-laws of the fund, only students can submit a proposal. The Green Energy Fund Review Board, or GEFRB, doesn’t want to spend money on projects that the students don’t want to see around campus.
So far three projects have been approved since the funds creations.
The first two included the purchase of a solar safety-emergency lighting system and an increase of wind energy from ten to thirty percent.
The most recent approved project, a green roof, has been approved but is still being planned.
By making the proposals for current students, only the board will know that the money is for a project the student body can get behind.
The GEFRB consists of senior Zoey Alderman-Tuttle, President of the Student Green Team, Dr. Chris Magoc, Chair of the Green Team, Tom Billingsley, Executive Vice President for Administration, Ken Stepherson, Director of the Physical Plant, Dr. James Snyder, Chair of the Philosophy Department, Dr. Ron Brown, Chair of the Chemistry/Physics Department and one other student who has yet to be named as the MSG GEFRB representative.
Dr. Snyder said he wants to encourage students to look into their ideas. The board does not need a student’s proposal to plan everything out to the final details, but they are looking for a solid plan.
“It’ll take more than five minutes on Google to plan a proposal,” Snyder said.
Proposals will have to include a planned budget, a list of necessary materials and an explanation of the benefits to the campus.
Besides the bare requirements, the board judges proposals based on how innovative and feasible the proposal is, the on-campus impact, how reasonable the budget is, the scale and timeline for the project, and if it agrees with the school’s mission statement.
All the proposals require a Project Supervisor, which has to be a Mercyhurst employee. The supervisor may be any member of the faculty, administration, or staff who can work with the student or simply run oversight for the project.
Anyone interesting in submitting a proposal should go to http://sustainability.mercyhurst.edu/green_energy_fund.html for more information and a proposal form.
Green Team President, Zoey Alderman-Tuttle, encouraged students with an interest in Green Energy to submit a proposal and become active.
Alderman said that any student who has an idea for the fund should speak with Magoc or Stepherson. Both are members of the GEFRB and could help to guide students with their proposal as well as answer questions.
Interested student could also join the Green Team, a student environmental group, to participate in green projects on campus and in the Erie area. The team meets every other Wednesday at 4:15 in Hirt 118.