The Green Fund Committee hosted a Sustainability Roundtable this past Sunday that was open to the entire University community. The objective of the meeting was to teach students about different green initiatives at Wesleyan and its peer institutions. Additionally, the Committee hoped to brainstorm with other students about several possible proposals submitted to the Green Fund.
The Green Fund is a student-financed and student-managed fund. It is funded through a $15 per semester student fee, and it finances initiatives that help to keep the University environmentally responsible.
At the meeting, the sustainability efforts of other higher education institutions were presented in order to decide if Wesleyan could also implement them. Ideas proposed at the roundtable meeting included providing a pamphlet on green initiatives to all freshmen during orientation and publicizing the University’s achievements in central, easily accessible locations.
“We want to see that information more readily be available electronically to the Wesleyan community,” said Green Fund Committee Member Zachary Brint ’16. “When the information is more accessible, we will hopefully see a spike in interest and an increase in sustainability- friendly behavior.”
Last year the Green Fund allocated money to major projects such as WILDWes, which helped establish a garden in the courtyard outside of WestCo. Other proposed ideas have included a student-run greenhouse and smaller ventures such as the Dorm Energy Competition.
Green Fund Committee Member Sam Walker ’13 said that he hopes to continue the Green Fund’s success this year.
“There is a strong, motivated network of environmentally-focused people here at Wes and we have the potential to make a strong positive impact on Wesleyan’s sustainability,” Walker said. “Events like the roundtable we held today are a great way to bring the green community at Wes together to brainstorm about how we can most effectively create a more sustainable campus.”
Some students who attended the meeting mentioned that they appreciated the measures taken by the Green Fund to improve sustainability at Wesleyan.
“It’s nice to see that many students here at Wesleyan use reusable bottles and that Wesleyan offers easy Nalgene water dispensers in Usdan and other buildings,” said Riley Loftus ’16.
Brint said he hoped that all University students would submit proposals to the Green Fund.
“We have this fund in order to better our community,” Brint said. “If you have a thought about how to better our environment at Wesleyan, feel free to go further, and write a proposal. We will help you get the project done.”
There will be additional meetings for students who missed the roundtable meeting but hope to get involved with sustainability on campus. Walker explained that everyone is encouraged to join and add their ideas the list.
“We have a lot of options and are considering a wide range of projects for this academic year,” Walker said.
The deadline for submitting a proposal to the Green Fund is Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. Proposals can be submitted to http://greenfund.wsa.wesleyan.edu/