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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Green Fund cultivates projects

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The Green Fund committee doled out $376,900 to 16 projects Thursday night. Initially, the 10-member student committee received 34 proposals, and it had about $400,000 to distribute. Its decisions will be official once Vice President of Student Affairs Melissa Vito approves them. The money will become available to the funded projects this summer.

Which project received the most funding?

The most expensive proposal to be approved was the “Compost Cats” project, which will get $89,800. Last year, the project received $58,100 from the Green Fund.

Which project saw the most debate?

One member of the audience attempted to rebuff criticism from the committee regarding her proposal, but she was told she wasn’t allowed to defend her project at the meeting. The project she was supporting, which was not approved, is called the “Highland Commons Courtyard.” Its budget of $12,300 included funds for an artistic installment.

In response to the woman’s comments, one committee member said, “We can’t justify spending that much on a sculpture.”

Will every approved project receive all of the money it asked for?

No, in fact, five of the project proposals were amended by the committee to reduce their budgets. The UA Community Garden, which applied to the Green Fund last year as well, was one project that saw a decrease in its requested funding.

Originally, the proposal asked for $27,200, which included funds to build a ramada at the garden site. The committee amended the proposal and removed the funding for the structure, leaving the project with $10,700.

“They funded the essentials to make sure the UA Community Garden could be successful,” said Natalie Lucas, co-director of Students for Sustainability and a junior studying environmental science and philosophy, politics, economics and law.

What is the Green Fund committee looking for?

Student involvement, waste reduction and educational opportunity are some of the characteristics the Green Fund committee wants to see in submitted proposals, according to Alex Harris, the committee chair and a chemical engineering senior. The committee clarified many of its criteria this year, Harris said, but some projects still failed to meet the fund’s qualifications.

“You could tell some proposals just kind of took a research proposal and put the Green Fund name on it,” he said.

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