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ASG passes sustainability fee after weeks of deliberation

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ASG passes sustainability fee after weeks of deliberation

Emily Edmiston, Staff Writer

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In Friday’s Student Senate meeting, the proposed bylaw from the previous April 19 meeting passed unanimously following the student body voting to implement an additional $3 to the Student Activities Fee.   

After several weeks of the senate deliberating on if and how it should allocate money towards sustainability projects, an agreement was finally reached.

“I’m happy we were able to come to a consensus between both parties,” President Josh Villanueva told The Channels. “In the end, it will benefit the students at our college.”

The fee increase proposed by Commissioner of Sustainability Alexi Som states that 37.5 percent of the Student Activities Fee shall be allocated to a sustainability workgroup.

“I was relieved it got passed,” Som told The Channels.

The fee increase will take effect on the first day of the Spring 2020 semester after the Board of Trustees takes the final vote on the $3 Student Activities Fee in the Fall of 2019.

The success of it depends on if the $3 fee is passed by the board.

“Now it’s up to the Board of Trustees to get it implemented,” Som told The Channels.

The bylaw passed unanimously even though Student Trustee Kenny Igbechi had previously opposed it.

Igbechi told The Channels he had concerns about it because the senate can’t directly oversee how the money is being spent.

However, he decided to support the fee increase after Environmental Studies Department Chair Adam Green ensured that he will see to it that the money is used in the interest of the students.

Green will be in charge of the sustainability workgroup that is allocating the funds.

“I voted in favor of the bylaw because Adam Green, who would be in charge of the committee, gave me his word that the money would be used to address student needs and that the projects would help the entire student population,” Igbechi said.

He added that because he will again hold the position of Student Trustee next school year he will carefully evaluate how the money is used.

“If for any reason I find it is not spent to address the concern of students, I would not hesitate to bring back the bylaw to the board for a repeal,” he added.

Before it is implemented goes into effect, the Sustainability Committee will be working in the Fall to recruit more student members.

Nick Hofstatter, head of the sustainability fee project, told The Channels that the committee currently only has five active members while in recent years there have been as many as twelve students actively involved with the organization.

Hofstatter said that students who are not directly involved with the Sustainability Committee will be able to present sustainability “project requests” to the workgroup.

“It’s been the goal all along to bring students into work on sustainability projects,” he said.  

The Senate will reconvene in the Fall.

 

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ASG passes sustainability fee after weeks of deliberation