As students returned from winter break to their classes at Auburn University, the AU Environmental Awareness Organization pushed forward with a campaign that, if successful, will generate a projected $350,000 in public funds annually for campus green infrastructure projects. The Green Investment campaign will include the creation of a new campus funding program.
With the Student Green Investment program, AU will invest in experimental environmental conservation and research projects that will bring new green innovations to the AU campus. Students, faculty, and staff will be invited to submit proposals to this fund throughout the year for projects which they will design and develop themselves for the campus. The disbursement of the Green Investment Fund will be overseen by a campus committee with a required student-majority vote for all funding decisions. Examples of potential projects for funding include the creation of a cross-campus bike and car-sharing program, the establishment of feasible connections between local farmers and campus dining services, and new construction projects that center on sustainable, eco-conscious design principles.
The first year of operation for the program will be supported through student investment. At approximately 5 dollars per semester, these investments would be lower than any fee or charge currently incurred by AU students. Additionally, due to the design of the Student Green Investment program, students would be able to actively decide how their money is best spent for AU.
Student groups at three other Alabama campuses are operating Sustainable Investment campaigns concurrently with AU EAO, including groups at UA, UA at Birmingham, and UA at Huntsville. All groups are members of the Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment (CASE), an 8-campus coalition united to support Alabama’s economy and environment through sustainable policy change and infrastructure development.
Students, citizens, and organizations interested in exploring ways that they can support AU EAO should contact Daniel Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org.