March 26, 2013

Sustainability measures proposed in SGA Senate

By Maggie Cunningham–

Justin Brandt, pictured above at the Board of Trustees meeting, spoke at the SGA Senators meeting on Tuesday night about updating the campus water fountains and bringing the New York Times to campus.

The University of Louisville’s SGA Senators may have some new changes coming to campus in the future. The Senate came together on March 19 for its biweekly meeting. The topics discussed were varied from bringing the New York Times to campus to updating water fountains to filling stations and getting all buildings a recycling bin. Many of these initiatives fall in line with the sustainability resolutions and recycling programs.

The water fountain updates are based on a bottle filling station rather than a typical drinking fountain. “Students will essentially be able to fill up their water bottles in classroom buildings using these fillers which are much easier to use,” said Carrie Mattingly, the academic vice president of the SGA.

On U of L’s campus, the new water filling stations are currently only located in the residence halls and the business school.  The floor is open for any suggestions on fountains that are high traffic and that the Senate believes should be updated. The SGA would partner with both Admissions, as well as First Year Initiatives to make the updates happen.

Justin Brandt, the president of the SGA brought the first idea to the floor before them opening for discussion. “I’ve been to a few schools since we last met: UK, EKU, Bellarmine and Auburn. And they all have these things,” Brandt said.

Another green initiative that was voted on at the most recent senate meeting was to pass another sustainability resolution. The services vice president will have to communicate which buildings already have recycling bins. “Hopefully, all buildings will have recycling bins by the end of the year, maintaining the university’s commitment to green initiatives,” Mattingly said.

Also discussed was the possible addition of the New York Times to campus. The paper would come in two different forms. The SGA has several choices in what type of package they purchase. The first option includes bringing just the paper form onto campus at 200 copies. The second option would include the paper copy as well as purchasing 200 keys which grant one access to the web version along with its archives for up to 24 hours.

Senators discussed whether they felt that students would use the hard copies or not.

“Sometimes professors would require you to use the New York Times for assignments, so I feel like students would use them more as a resource than to sit down and read,” said Rachel Croley, a grad school SGA Senator.

If the Senate decides to only use the access keys, this would also save paper copies and help with their recycling initiatives.

A resolution that was also presented was for the SGA travel fund.  Currently, any RSO that applies for funding can use them, if received, for gas only.  If passed, the resolution would give the travel fund administrators the authority to determine how much money would be given to the RSO. Mattingly said, “(This resolution) would allow freedom for using the funds for travel expenses other than gas.”

The senate will be meeting two more times before the end of the semester, on April 2 and 16. Some of these initiatives will be finalized and more topics will likely be brought to the board for review. The meetings are streamed live for public viewing.

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Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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