By Andrea Picou, Staff Writer
Published in print Sept. 10, 2014
Once school has begun, so has the SGA. Their meeting on Tuesday, September 2 included discussion of new initiatives and fees. The senators also discussed safety and emphasized their responsibility to stay aware of student complaints and concerns.
UNCGreen, a sustainability organization, is pushing for establishing a Green Fund with an additional student fee.
UNCGreen Co-Chairs Gray Williams and Katlyn Adkins presented the idea to the SGA, along with Chad Carewin, the Sustainability Education and Outreach Specialist with the Office of Sustainability.
As Williams told the SGA, “We are also proposing a Green Fund Committee that would be established to manage and administer all the revenue that’s generated. This would consist of four students and three staff members.”
Williams also mentioned that they have 200 signatures of support from students. The SGA does not have the power to levy fees, but the group is seeking the SGA’s endorsement to bring before the Student Fees Committee.
The “green fee” they propose would be five dollars per full-time student per semester. According to estimates supplied by UNCGreen, this would raise about $72,000 every semester.
They want to use the money to fund sustainable projects, like installing solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system. Emily McNair, a political science junior, said, “Finally our money would to something good. That’s an awesome idea, better than a rec center!”
Simone Stephens urged the senators to think seriously about the proposal, and Senators responded that they need more information before making a decision. The SGA decided to schedule a student forum to discuss the proposal.
Christine Fry, a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Epsilon Nu, attends every meeting as a liaison from Greek organizations on campus. She delivered a message of thank you and offered support from the Greek community. She told the SGA, “The Greek community wants to be able to connect with not only others who are interested in the Greek community but all of campus.”
During the report from the president, Simone Stephens had a discussion with senators about issues that the student body is concerned with. Issues of safety and transportation were most prevalent in the discussion.
Although there are cameras, Senators agreed that the new tunnel and the area between the tunnel and Spartan Village feels unsafe.
It was suggested that a greater police presence would help. All senators who spoke related that there are problems feeling safe walking to off campus locations at night. Expanding shuttle service and escort services were offered as solutions.
The other prevalent concern discussed in the meeting was the lack of parking options, especially convenient to students living in on campus housing.
The lack of land available for parking was acknowledged, but it was suggested that making metered parking free on the weekends could help.