Indiana Daily Student

Sustainability Fund projects selected

The Student Sustainability Council has voted to fund three projects throughout the next year, two involving the installation of solar panels on campus and one involving the campus rain garden initiative.

Money will come from the Sustainability Fund, which is made up of independent ?donations.

“I’m glad we started off with three,” said junior Ellie Symes, financial director of the SSC.

The SSC was able to fund all projects that were proposed this year, Symes said.

Symes said the most exciting project is a solar panel heating pilot.

The SSC is allocating $20,000 to fund the installation of solar panels that will heat the water of a residence hall.

Symes said the specific residence hall the panels are installed upon will be decided based on water usage and other factors.

“They’re going to put it on the dorm that’ll have the most impact,” Symes said.

The SSC plans to fully fund the greening of the light totem outside of IU Art Museum with approximately $5,000.

Symes said his high-visibility project will likely help the SSC in gaining ?awareness.

The project involves the installation of a solar panel to power the light totem.

Symes said she hopes this project will be completed next semester.

She said if they can accomplish that, they’ll be able to get more and younger students interested in the SSC through student orientation and tabling.

The third project is the rain garden initiative. The rain gardens are the only student-proposed project.

The other two were proposed by staff, Symes said.

“We did about a third of the funding, which, again, was about $4,000 to the rain initiative,” she said.

The proposal involves the installation of a rain garden behind the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Symes said she’s working with the SSC to determine how the rest of the funds might come about and said she might reach out to SPEA and private donors.

The process began with a proposal review meeting after break, Symes said.

Seven SSC general assembly member organizations were able to vote in the process.

These were the organizations that had attended at least three GA meetings throughout the semester.

Symes said they wanted to honor active participation in the SSC.

Some organizations brought more than one member, and some non-member students attended out of interest.

These students were still involved in the conversation, although only the seven votes would be counted, Symes said.

The council first voted on whether or not it would spend all of the money in the Sustainability Fund, which it opted to do.

“We’ve been sitting on this money for five years,” Symes said.

Then, the council voted on whether it would fund all three projects or just two.

The council elected to fund all three ideas proposed to them and went on to decide how to allocate money to each.

“They were all three very solid ideas that could be done,” she said.

When the projects can be completed will be largely dependent upon the University architects, Symes said.

Before beginning the projects, the SSC has to propose each project to the ?architects.

Then, the projects’ timelines are largely contingent upon when the architects get back to the council and when they read over the proposals, Symes said.

Symes said she hopes these large-scale projects can help grow the SSC and bring in both more donations and more involvement.

“It’s been a good semester,” she said. “I’m really happy about the way the SSC’s grown.”

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