Trustees Approve Green Fund
This past weekend, the Board of Trustees endorsed the creation of the Green Fund, marking the final step in the approval process before the fund goes into effect next fall.
The vote marked the culmination of a year of planning, preparation, and debate. Upon returning from the 2009 Power Shift Climate Change Conference in Washington, D.C. last April, Julia Michaels ’12, Julia Jonas-Day ’12, and Josh Levine ’12 formed the Green Fund Committee (GFC) through the Environmental Organizers Network (EON), which advocated for the creation of a fund to support on-campus environmental initiatives.
“I’m thrilled,” Levine said. “I think it’s great that this one idea of a few people has turned into something our whole community can embrace, including the Board of Trustees.”
Last November, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) approved the Green Fund by a vote of 31-1. After the initial WSA members-only vote, the proposal was placed on the WSA election ballot to gauge student support. It received far above the required approval of two-thirds of the student body and was subsequently forwarded to the Board of Trustees.
The Green Fund is a $15 per student biannual fee, paid with tuition at the beginning of each semester. Students who are unable to or do not wish to pay can opt out of paying the fee.
According to a November 2009 Wespeak by GFC founders Michaels, Jonas-Day, and Levine, over fifty other colleges and universities already have similar funds to support sustainability. Most of these schools experience an opt-out rate of about 10 percent, the Wespeak said, meaning the fund could provide $70,000 annually if Wesleyan students follow suit.
A committee comprised of the WSA Sustainability Coordinator, four additional students, and a University staff member will oversee the dispersal of money raised by the Green Fund. The committee members will be chosen by the WSA Sustainability Coordinator, the WSA Coordinator, and a member of the Organization and External Affairs Committee.