Green Fee specifics revealed

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Last year, 75 percent of voting students at Georgia Southern University approved the Green Fee, a $10 fee that is added to the student activity fees.

The Green Fee will go toward various sustainable projects on campus. It will also aid in promotional efforts to encourage a green lifestyle across campus. Additionally, the fee will go toward environmental education, and will bring in a variety of guest speakers.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Prize Winner and the Former U.S. Secretary of Energy as the keynote speaker for No Impact Week,” Dr. Lissa Leege, director for the Center for Sustainability (CfS), said.

The CfS will also issue a call for proposals for sustainability projects this spring, so students, faculty and staff can develop ideas and submit proposals for spending funds to improve campus sustainability.

“I have been impressed with the great ideas I have heard thus far and expect that our campus will be able to implement some of them in 2014,” Leege said.

In addition to hiring personnel for the CfS, the fee will also go toward sustainable projects on campus such as retrofitting buildings, installing low-flow showerheads and re-lamping to make GSU more water and energy efficient.

“We have already been named a top green university by the Princeton Review three years in a row,” Leege said. “This will help us to offer more sustainability courses, events, field trips, etc., as well as to fund initiatives for physical sustainability improvements on our campus.”

However, a majority of the money raised by the Green Fee this semester is not going to be spent.

“We are allowing the funds to build up for a semester before we begin spending,” Leege said.

This semester the fee is supporting a graduate assistant working for the CfS to help plan and run the events it is hosting this fall, like GreenFest 2013. The funds also supported a fall sustainability speaker, David Guernsey, former Senior Sustainability Program Manager at UPS, who spoke on Oct. 3.

Starting spring 2014, the Center for Sustainability will begin to provide students with sustainability programming, culminating with No Impact Week, which is scheduled for April 14-21.

Leege said, students can expect to see several sustainability projects in action by the end of 2014.