Students at the University of Alabama at Huntsville are preparing for a new fund that could generate over a quarter of a million dollars for on-campus sustainability projects over the next five years. The Chargers for Sustainability and the UAH Green Club have teamed up with the Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment to create a new campus “Green Fund” to support student-designed and implemented projects for energy-independence, efficiency, renewables, recycling, and other environmental initiatives.
The UAH initiative is inspired directly by recent student actions at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, where a successful student campaign created a new $1 million “Green Fund” this May. All student groups are working in conjunction with the Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment and CASE’s “Statewide Sustainable Investment Project”, which hopes to create additional Green Funds at UAB and Auburn University by January 2014.
Caitlin McClusky, who led the successful initiative to create UA’s $1 million fund, had this to say about new UAH progress:
“I am thrilled that students at UAH took the initiative to establish a green fund on their campus so quickly after our success at UA this past spring. I think rapid efforts to expand upon UA’s success by other schools indicates just how much the green fund concept resonates with students in Alabama. It is very clear that students and young people across the state want their schools and communities to embrace sustainable projects and practices.”
“Green Fund,” a concept common at leading higher-education institutions nationwide, was implemented for the first time at any Alabama public university at the University of Montevallo in 2011. Since that time, the campus has allocated approximately $30,000 annually into on-campus, student-implemented renewable energy, water efficiency, and public transportation projects. All funds are available at request for student projects. Students possess the majority vote on all major and minor funding decisions. This same model has been used for the University of Alabama’s new $1 million fund.
The Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment (CASE) is a statewide network of student environmental leaders from multiple grassroots environmental organizations at eight college campuses across Alabama. Coalition members work individually and collectively with public, private, and non-profit organizations to achieve legitimately beneficial collaboration on environmental issues within Alabama communities.