Article Originally Published by Juan Betancourt on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
The We Mean Green Fund committee provided information for students and staff to make campus greener during its Oct. 28 Environmental Think Thank Workshop.
During the workshop, committee members Delany Baum and Libby Brookshire both explained steps of filling out an environmental improvement project proposal that will benefit the campus. The deadline to submit a proposal to the committee is Dec. 6.
The committee allows those who are concerned about the environment in campus to lend their voice through projects which will be considered for funding and a chance to make UNT more sustainable.
“Our goal is to improve the UNT community, to improve our campus through projects,” Baum said.
There is some criteria that must be met before submitting a project proposal. It must have an environmental benefit for campus and have institutional support, meaning if the presenter has spoken to campus department administration about its approval.
“Especially if you are building a structure or establishing some sort of new policy within the campus,” Baum said. “It is important to let them know that you are making these changes.”
Another requirement is getting the campus community opportunities to get involved from the project and measurable outcomes that determine if the project is a success and if there is potential for a broader application across campus.
Once a student or staff member has a general idea to improve campus, they will submit a pre-proposal idea. If selected, the committee will set up a meeting to have a better understanding and help you write the final forms. The committee will provide you with a template that will guides how the final proposal will be written.
“We’re also there to help write that proposal,” Baum said. “You can come to us and go questions by questions, to best answer those questions to give you the best advantage when the committee is looking at your proposal.”
If the committee has more follow-up questions they will ask you to present your proposal.
“It helps you build any strong case for your project and show them what you’re planning,” Baum said.
The proposal will not be immediately funded as it is a yearlong process. The committee will be evaluating and vote for funding.
“Deliberation and presentations, just getting the funding approval process,” Baum said. “If you project is chosen, then you will receive the funding in August of the following year.”
The solar trailer generator that provides clean energy, a smaller carbon footprint and improved air quality is one project that has been previously funded. The solar trailer was proposed in 2016 and was first used during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to the UNT Student Affairs website.
Other projects that have been funded and still running are the UNT community garden, I Bike UNT – Theft Prevention and the Pecan Creek Pollinative Prairie.
The workshop also allows those who attend to brainstorm ideas for potential proposals. Roy Ivey, a graduate coordinator for training and development at UNT’s Texas Housing and Residence Life, pitched an idea for a sharps container, a safe way to dispose needles in campus.
Brookshire said that she wants single use plastics and diverting waste in the student union such as finding alternative ways for safe waste.
“I feel like it may be really hard to completely go zero waste, but I think the next step is to go compostable packaging,” Brookshire said.
The We Mean Green fund is funded by the student tuition fee. Each student contributes $5 to the Environmental Service fee during the spring and fall semester.
“Students really own the Mean Green Fund,” Baum said. “So, it’s a really important resource to use.”
The next meeting will be held Nov. 14 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Discovery Park room B158.
“The committee emphasizes the importance how a project will impact students,” Brookshire said. “Student involvement — that’s very important for how far reaching the project will be and how it will benefit students.”
Featured Image: The We Mean Green Funds team’s community garden is located in front of Legends Hall. Image by Theophilus Bowie
Source: North Texas Daily