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 SRU Green Fund, president, OK $73,598 to aid environment 

 

SPOTLIGHT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 24, 2009

Contact: K.E. Schwab  

724.738.2199

 karl.schwab@sru.edu

 

 

SRU Green Fund, president OK $73,598 to aid environment

 

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Students at Slippery Rock University are showing off their "green" and clearly putting their "greenbacks" where their passions are with approval of $73,598 in Green Fund Advisory Board project approvals.

            Last June, SRU students sought and received approval from the SRU Council of Trustees for creation of a Green Fund to support environmental initiatives on campus and in the community. A request for proposals generated 15 projects. The advisory board reviewed all of the proposals and nine were recommended to SRU President Robert Smith for funding.

            Projects receiving funding approval in the first year are:

  • Purchase of trash/recycling containers - $12,250;
  • Electric meters to monitor usage in Spotts World Culture Building and Eisenberg Classroom Building - $15,000;
  • A March 28 campus clean up project, $350;
  • An "I ride the bus" project - $20,000;
  • Expansion of the Green Bike Initiative Student Outreach, Cycling Infrastructure and Practical Art - $5,748;
  • Power Shift 2009 Conference attendance support - $650;
  • Renovations to Harmony House - $8,600;
  • Purchase of a recycling baler - $5,500; and
  • Construction of an SRU Disc Golf Course - $5,000.

Today, rockpride online will examine the first three proposals. Next week we'll feature three additional projects and the week following that, the final three.

                  The Green Fund is administered by the Green Fund Advisory Board and includes SRU students, faculty, an administrator, a representative of the facilities and planning staff and a member of the off-campus community. Proposals must also receive approval from the SRU president.

            "This round of funding, provided by the University, shows just what students can accomplish when they work together, gain community support and clearly present their ideas," Smith said. "With the expenditure of nearly $75,000, students, the campus community and those visiting Slippery Rock University will see what a group of committed students can achieve."

            In several cases, the projects tie directly to SRU's leadership in environmental issues. The University offers academic majors in environmental education and environmental science and a master's degree in sustainable systems.

            In granting approval for the overall project, trustee chair Robert Taylor had said, "As trustees, we are pleased to be able to support our students in this worthwhile undertaking. I believe projects funded by The Green Fund will have wide benefit, not only on campus, but in the local and regional community. It is a good idea, and it is a good project for SRU."

            In several cases, the projects tie directly to SRU's leadership in environmental issues. The University offers academic majors in environmental education and environmental science and a master's degree in sustainable systems.

            In granting approval for the overall project, trustee chair Robert Taylor had said, "As trustees, we are pleased to be able to support our students in this worthwhile undertaking. I believe projects funded by The Green Fund will have wide benefit, not only on campus, but in the local and regional community. It is a good idea, and it is a good project for SRU."

          Students attending the trustee session also voiced approval saying that in addition to the "greening effects," educational projects to further raise environmental awareness would result.

Among other major "green" projects already under way on campus are the SRU Foundation-funded, suite-style residence halls which made use of numerous green building concepts throughout construction. Hallway lighting is provided "on-demand" as visitors walk the hallways. Energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning units, improved insulation techniques for energy efficiency and recycled materials were incorporated into the wallboard used in construction throughout the project. 

The new buildings in the $140-million project are all energy efficient and LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

           Across campus, energy-saving lighting has been installed in hallways and offices along with controls that monitor heating and cooling energy use to conserve energy. Steam lines, roof materials and other construction projects have been upgraded with energy conservation in mind.

           In addition, SRU's Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research, the on-campus think-tank laboratory known as "Harmony House," has served as a demonstration site for a photo-voltaic array showing electrical generation from the sun and is the home to SRU's wind turbine for electrical power generation. The site also demonstrates straw-bail construction and other sustainable system projects allowing students and visitors to see firsthand how sustainability and environmental projects can work. 

 

A look at the first three projects:

 

Purchase of trash/recycling containers - $12,250

            The approved Trash/Recycling Contains Project was spearheaded by Scott Albert, director of facilities in SRU's Office of Facilities and Planning, and is projected to help his operation improve the overall appearance of the campus grounds while simultaneously increasing recycling efforts. 

In addition, the project will help reduce landfill costs. Efforts to track trash taken to landfills and payments received from recycling contractors will be undertaken.

            Albert reported the University can save $34.50 per ton by diverting solid waste, and, where possible, could receive funds from recycling contractors for certain materials. 

"The project will help to reduce our carbon footprint and will improve the appearance of the campus grounds," he said. Under the approved funding the project will add 20 additional trash/recycling containers for campus distribution later this spring. Albert said assessment of their effectiveness will continue throughout the summer.

 

Electric meters for Spotts World Culture Building and Eisenberg Classroom Building - $15,000

Albert also proposed the University's installation of electric meters in Spotts World Culture Building and Eisenberg Classroom Building that will be tied to the campus building automation system, allowing monitoring of electricity used in the building. When charges are made to reduce electrical consumption in the buildings the University will be able to determine how successful the reduction plans were.

In discussing the University's sustainability efforts, Albert said, "These devices will help us provide documentation to justify how an energy police or operational change can reduce our electrical consumption on campus." Funding provides for the cost of the meters and their installation.

"The meters themselves will not lead to energy or cost savings. They are a means to help analyze whether or not changes that are made to a building are successful," he said.

 

           A campus clean up project, $350

           Megan Gribbin, president of SRU's Green and White Society, was granted $350 to launch a one-day campus clean up Saturday.

           Partnering departments and organizations in the project include the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, the Office of Facilities and Planning, the Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Slippery Rock University Alumni Association, the Office of Alumni Relations and campus individuals willing to serve as volunteers.

           "Ideally the 'Campus Clean Up' will benefit not only the volunteers, but also the campus as a whole. The event is purposely dated before the Kaleidoscope arts festival so visitors to campus will be able to enjoy the campus to its full potential," Gribbin said. "It will also assist in making a positive impact on students and their families who are visiting campus for tours and orientation." She said the hope is that volunteers will see how much litter accumulates on campus and how they can help reduce its effects by understanding the problem.

           Volunteers will gather campus litter, then divide it into recyclable items, compostable items and trash. Funding will pay for rubber gloves, trash bags and event promotion materials.

 

Next week: "I ride the bus," expanding the Green Bike Project and Powershift 2009.

 

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

 

Green Fund Advisory Board

Student Government Association (2)

           Larry Brink and Kate Hepner

SRU Facilities and Planning (1) 

            Matt Parr

SRU Administrator (1) 

            Scott Albert 

SRU Faculty (3) members)

            Jerry Chmielewski, Jeff Smith, Julie Snow 

Master's in Sustainable Systems Graduate Student(1)

            Juliette Jones 

Undergraduate students (2)

            Andrew Bolla and Ruth Watson 

Community Representative (1)

            Bob McCafferty 

            

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