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Green Fund Committee doles out the dollars

Will Ferguson / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Green Fund Committee of the University of Arizona met to discuss potential projects for funding. The meeting took place at the SUMC Tucson room on Tuesday, March 8, 2011.
Will Ferguson
Will Ferguson / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Green Fund Committee of the University of Arizona met to discuss potential projects for funding. The meeting took place at the SUMC Tucson room on Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

The Green Fund Committee allocated $745,800 to various UA sustainability projects on Tuesday.

The student-led committee formed last semester when a $24 increase was added to tuition to fund sustainability initiatives on campus.

The Green Fund receives $400,000 of that to give to green projects each year and can fund some projects for multiple years.

The board’s decisions serve as guidance for the vice president of student affairs’ final approval.

In its first set of allotments, the committee approved 20 out of 32 proposals it reviewed.

Some proposals were amended by removing money intended to go to marketing efforts because the committee chose to market all projects in house in order to brand them as Green Fund projects.

A proposal to purchase 16 new recycle bins for the Arizona Student Unions at a total cost of $24,000 generated discussion about price and the ability to streamline recycling bins campus wide.

In regard to creating campus consistency, Larry Jones, assistant director at Arizona Student Unions, said he has not seen a desire to unify recycling from other departments and said going green isn’t cheap.

The proposed bins have been tested and are the small silver bins around campus.

“”I feel like we can do better,”” said Green Fund Committee member Nicholas Theisen. “”I think we can find a less expensive way.””

While Chester Phillips, graduate assistant for sustainability and arid land resources graduate student, applauded the committee for its efforts at the end of the hearing, though he said he wanted to see the public play a larger role.

“”I do not feel like there has been enough public input,”” Phillips said. “”It appears as though these items have been decided before the meeting.””

The proposals fell into three categories and three incomplete proposals were stricken at the beginning of the meeting.

The fund allocated money to five projects in the energy category, four in the water and garden category and 10 in the sustainability education category.

While proposals were separated into groups, some projects had elements of multiple categories such as two approved proposals to install dashboard systems in residence halls, which would be used to track either utilities or solar energy.

One area of debate was on whether to fund the proposal “”Sustainability Condoms.”” The proposal includes plans to pass out condoms that have additional packaging with phrases about keeping green, using examples like remembering to turn off the lights.

Committee member Peter Burns, a graduate student studying agricultural and resource economics, said he liked the awareness aspect of the project but did not like the idea of spending $900 on extra packaging that he said is likely to end up in a land fill.

After some debate over the effectiveness of the message, the proposal passed 6-4.

NOTICE: Due to a production error, this article was not available for viewing online until March 10, 2011. The article was originally set to publish online on March 9, 2011. The Daily Wildcat apologizes for this inconvenience.

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