RHA tackles sustainability
The Residence Hall Association addressed sustainability, diversity and compensation at a meeting Wednesday.
In a unanimous vote, members voted in support of a resolution proposing that a sustainability section be added to the A-Z Guide to Furnished Apartment and Residence Hall.
The sustainability section will contain information pertaining to the IU Office of Sustainability, the IU Energy Challenge, student involvement, energy use, water use and recycling.
“We already have something like this online, but it never gets updated and it’s really hard to find,” McNutt Quadrangle President Nathan Manworren said.
In a 16-to-10 vote, members voted to table a resolution calling for IU President Michael McRobbie to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment before the end of the next academic year.
Six hundred and ninety-five college and university presidents have already signed the ACUPCC, according to its website.
Presidents who sign the ACUPCC promise their college or university will complete an emissions inventory, take immediate steps to reduce emissions, set a target date for becoming climate-neutral, integrate sustainability into the education experience, and make the inventory, steps and plans available to the public.
“Having President McRobbie sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment would give some backbone and meaning to the Campus Master Plan,” Ashton Residence Center President Joe Hunt said.
Forest Residence Center President Andrew Ireland, however, expressed concern regarding the associated fee.
“We’ve already integrated almost every single one of these points into our Campus Master Plan,” he said. “Essentially what we’re doing is paying a fee to sign the contract to make a publicity statement.”
Members voted to table the resolution until members better understood the implications of signing the ACUPCC.
In a unanimous vote, members also voted to table a resolution, sending it back to its sponsor and proposing that an RHA sustainability grants program be created.
The program would initially be funded by $18,000 from the RHA general budget and $2,000 from the director of sustainability’s personal budget, according to the resolution.
This initial $20,000 would then be matched by $20,000 from RHA.
This initial $40,000 may then be matched by $40,000 from the IU administration, according to the resolution.
Center governments would then request funding for capital projects in the residence and dining halls.
In most cases, the in-center governments would provide half of the funding for the capital project, and the program will provide half of the funding for the capital project, according to the resolution.
Members, however, expressed concerns regarding the amount of funding. They voted to table the resolution, allowing the sponsor of the resolution to reconsider the amount of funding.
In a unanimous vote, members voted in support of a resolution calling for the implementation of a campus-wide policy requiring students to sign a diversity agreement when applying for housing.
When applying for housing in Collins Living-Learning Center, students are required to sign a diversity statement. When applying for housing in other living-learning centers, residence halls and campus apartments, however, students are not required to sign a diversity statement.
“And Collins (Living-Learning Center) is known as one of most accepting and open communities at IU,” Director of Social Advocacy Andrew Guenther said.
In a unanimous vote, save for four abstentions, members voted in support of a resolution proposing a new compensation model.
RHA comprises four executives, 13 center presidents and eight directors.
The four executives currently earn approximately $7,500 per semester, the 13 center presidents make approximately $3,800 and the eight directors make about $1,500.
Under the new compensation model, executives will make $5,650 per semester, the center presidents will make $4,000 and the directors will make $2,000.
Under the new model, compensation of RHA members will account for $92,600.
McNutt Quadrangle President Nathan Manworren said the internal affairs committee will create a more formalized and rigorous accountability system to ensure members put in the work to warrant the money.
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