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Indiana Daily Student

GPSO passes resolution to cut down on fossil fuels

The IU Graduate and Professional Student Organization tackled sustainability during its first general assembly meeting of the semester.

The assembly passed a resolution urging IU to establish a dollar amount to put toward renewable energy resources each year and to make public the dollar amount, as well as the amount of emissions cut each year.

“Where was it last year?” Benjamin Verdi, a member of the sustainability committee, asked. “Where is it now? How much did it improve in terms of its energy efficiency? And, maybe, where else could it improve?”

The resolution also urges IU to break the dollar amount and emissions cut down per facility, Verdi said. The idea, he said, is that certain buildings cannot be expected to cut the same amount of emissions as other buildings.

“Obviously, we’re not going to walk in and say that the stadium should use as little energy as an office,” he said.

The idea, Verdi said, is that practices in buildings that cut more emissions can be carried over into buildings that cut fewer emissions.

The resolution also urges IU to put less money toward coal energy sources and instead put that money toward renewable energy resources because coal accounts for 16 percent of IU’s costs, Verdi said.

Finally, the resolution urges IU to join Duke Energy’s GoGreen Power Program because its goals, Verdi said, largely align with the goals of the resolution.

Representatives, however, voiced their concern that, should putting more money toward renewable energy sources — particularly putting less money toward coal sources and instead putting that money toward renewable energy resources — raise costs for IU, costs will in turn rise for students.

“The concern is, if this is going to cost more, will the university pass it on to students in some way?” GPSO President Brady Harman said. “And one of the popular ways of passing it on to students is the capital planning fee.”

Verdi said he would fight to make sure IU would not pass the cost on to students.

“We want the University to do what it said it would do in terms of reporting renewable energy use and our progress toward the very ambitious goals that the University set for cutting carbon emissions by 2020 and by 2050,” he said.

The assembly also unanimously passed two resolutions amending the GPSO constitution.

The assembly unanimously passed a resolution transferring the All University Student Association responsibilities from the GPSO vice president to the GPSO president.

AUSA is comprised of undergraduate and graduate student government leaders across all eight IU campuses. Though the undergraduate and graduate governments of seven other IU campuses send their presidents to AUSA gatherings, GPSO sends their vice president, generating miscommunication, Braden said.

The assembly also unanimously passed a resolution replacing the position of liaison with the position of diversity officer.

The liaison currently acts as a medium of communication between GPSO and other student governments and organizations as well as the head of the diversity committee.

The head of the diversity committee currently crafts diversity initiatives and supports diversity organizations on campus.

Though the position will remain much the same, Harman said, the nomination will not.

Though the liaison was elected, the diversity officer will be appointed by the executive committee and approved by the assembly.

The GSPO first started over fifteen years ago and now serves over 8,000 graduate and professional students, according to the group’s website.

The group’s main mission is to provide graduate students with opportunities and resources while they are on the Bloomington campus through events and various projects.

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