The Weber State University Environmental Club presented its campus sustainability fund proposal to the student senate on Monday.
The proposal would add 25-42 cents per credit hour each semester to students’ tuition, with a cap at 12 hours. The majority of the funds would go towards student internships, with the rest being used for projects that would benefit the university and its students.
“I’m inherently against this fee because it’s another student fee,” said Senator Brady Harris. “I want to make sure that this fee is not overlooked verses some other fees that might be more beneficial to students in other ways.”
The funds would be managed by a committee made up of interns, a member of the administration, two faculty members and two members from Facilities Management who would oversee the feasibility of the projects proposed. The club said the student interns would be the only paid positions on the committee.
Some members of the senate expressed concerns that students would not see a return on investment of the additional student fee. The Environmental Club said the return on investment would depend on the projects the funds are used for.
Last year, the university saved 527,000 dollars through projects the Energy and Sustainability Office implemented. One such project is replacing light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones.
The student senate recommended the club to take its proposal to the Student Fee Recommendations Committee.
“It’s probably going to be hard to get students to vote yes for an initiative if it just says ‘hey we’re gonna raise your student fees by 25 cents,'” Harris said. “Nobody’s gonna vote for that.”
Justin Neville disagreed, saying there isn’t a lot of extra money left over from student fees.
“To meet the needs and the vision that you guys have for this initiative, I really think you’re better off adding it on the ballot, first presenting it here in senate and finding some senators who are in support of it,” he said.
Senator Shalie Barbor said the club should show more of how its proposal will affect students.
“I would talk globally, maybe statistics of what Utah State has done and the University of Utah so people can see on a broader range,” she said. “All I heard was ‘great my tuition’s going up again.’ You don’t want people thinking that. You want people thinking about how they can give back to the world and the campus.”