Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Students can receive funds for sustainability projects through revolving fund

Zoe Pehrson '13 and Nat Clarke '11 projects both received loans from SRLF. Photo Credit: Isabel Hong

Following several other environmentally conscious colleges and universities such as U.C. Berkeley, Harvard and William and Mary, Whitman’s Sustainability Advisory Committee initiated the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) in the spring of 2009.

According to Whitman Campus Sustainability, the SRLF is a 50,000 dollar line of credit designated for campus improvements that will significantly benefit Whitman’s sustainability efforts by conserving resources and improving efficiency. Last year the program offered loans of up to 25,000 dollars.

The projects funded by the loans are expected to replenish the fund so that future generations of Whitman students can afford to sponsor new projects without having to rely on endowment. The loans are intended to be payed back through the proposed projects within five years.

Students, faculty, staff and departments are invited to submit applications for funds from the SRLF up until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15. Applications include an in-depth plan and schedule for the project’s financial and sustainability progress.

Senior Nat Clarke, who serves as one of Whitman’s campus sustainability coordinators, constructed a model farm on the Hall of Science’s rooftop greenhouse through the SRLF fund.

Clarke calls SRLF a “tremendous” opportunity and commented that even the application process can teach skills such as “grant-writing, budgeting, project management, and, most importantly, creative thinking.”

Submitted proposals will be reviewed by a committee of staff, faculty, alumni and student members. They will announce their decisions to the applicants the week after Thanksgiving break.

The proposed ideas faculty and students have suggested for individual projects include reducing energy use through residence hall energy monitors,  creating biodiesel from Bon Appétit vegetable oil and  reducing energy use in academic buildings.

In the past, projects funded by the SRLF have included the chemical recycler requested by the Chemistry Department, which greatly reduced the amount of hazardous waste shipped for disposal, as well as the “Paper Phoenix” project which turned old letterhead into notebooks to be sold in the bookstore.

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