Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

ASWC goes green: environmental initiatives pass unanimously

The chosen color of the Sunday, Nov. 14 ASWC Senate meeting was green–unanimously.

On the agenda were two resolutions throwing ASWC support behind environmental initiatives and a vote on appropriating money to make the resolutions a reality. All three passed unanimously.

One resolution, the Washington Beyond Coal resolution, displayed ASWC’s support of closing down Washington’s sole coal power plant, the TransAlta plant in Centralia. The proposal was created by the Sierra Student Coalition as a way to show favor for shutting the coal plant down permanently.

The Whitman proposal was sponsored by Campus Climate Challenge, which altered the language of the proposal slightly and tailored it to campus needs.

“I worked with Ari Frink and the sophomore class committee several times to work through the resolution, making it Whitman specific and relevant. We added a few clauses and some data on the coal plant. It went through Student Affairs, and they asked for a few revisions, which we made, and they passed it,” wrote first-year Claire Meints, one of the sponsors of the resolution,  in an e-mail.

The modified resolution contains information about how much energy the plant supplies–about 10 percent of the state’s energy–as well as the environmental effects of the resolution. The proposal also calls for replacing the lost electricity and jobs with renewable energy projects in the region.

“It’s also about instituting a new energy source,” said Meints.

The second resolution outlined ASWC’s support for both a faculty sustainability coordinator and increased funding for environmental initiatives, including initiatives that do not fit the specific requirements of the Whitman Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund. An additional vote awarded 19,130 dollars from the savings fund to pay for on-campus environmental initiatives that were not being otherwise funded. Of this figure, 6,475 dollars will go towards the ASWC endowment, which funds Service Learning Organizations and the Organic Garden, while 3,826 dollars will go towards the general Travel and Student Development fund.

These funds are an isolated influx of money. Matt Dittrich, Finance Chair and one of the developers of the proposal, hopes that it will prove successful enough to remain permanent.

Senior senator Gary Wang supported the project because he worried that good projects were not being funded because the main source of Whitman funding, the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund, has strict requirements, including the requirement that the project pays for itself within five years.

“It’s really hard to get a sustainability project that will pay back in five years,” said Wang.

After the proposal’s passing, Dittrich showed his gratitude to the Senate.

“Thank you for making this person’s dream come true. I’m really excited about this. Let’s try to cultivate something here,” he said.

Students will be able to apply for funding through the Finance Committee after Thanksgiving break.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *