Illustration by Liz Finch
By Darya Watnick///Editor-in-Chief
The green fee is an optional part of tuition that enables the college to purchase cleaner sources of energy. This year, due to a variety of factors, there is a surplus from the fee collected. Since the fees were calculated the campus has reduced overall electricity use, according to Sustainability Manager Amy Dvorak.
Overall high enrollment and high participation in the program, lower quotes from other providers and a surplus in the renewable energy certificates market driving down the cost have all led to the surplus of the fee.
ASLC legislation from last year created a committee to allocate the funding. The committee is currently made up of Senator Daniel Leavenworth (’15); Student Sustainability Coordinator Micah Leinbach (’14); the Vice President of Business and Finance’s designee Michel George, who normally serves as Associate Vice President for Facilities; Dean of Students Tuajuanda Jordan or her designee; and Dvorak.
This committee will manage a grant program for students, focusing on undergraduates as the funding comes from them.
“However, we are hoping to coordinate this programming with the Sustainability Council’s activities as well as Strategic Planning efforts, and create synergies where possible,” said Dvorak. This is a unique year for the green fee surplus, as there is no guarantee it will happen again. “Our understanding is that renewable energy certificate prices are relatively low and they are expected to go back up. We also do not have a guarantee on student participation or the continual reductions in our electricity use that we have experienced in the last several years,” Dvorak said.
Dvorak stresses that the grant program will be a great resource for students and a very exciting opportunity.