Finance the green fund

Student government should support a new student fee for green projects.

Daily Editorial Board

The Minnesota Student Association is set to vote on a resolution Tuesday supporting a proposed student fee to go toward a fund to pay for green initiatives on campus. The fee was proposed by the Sustainable Legacy Coalition, which is composed of student groups whose goal is to help the campus achieve climate neutrality by 2050. MSA should support this measure, and the University of Minnesota administration should prepare to take over paying for this fund as soon as possible.

Under the CoalitionâÄôs plan, the $10 per-semester fee would pay start-up costs for the fund and be phased out over time. Students and faculty would work together to designate projects the fund would finance, all with the goal of greening the campus. The University would join about 80 American schools to have such a fund.

Such a fund is long overdue. The University routinely receives high grades from environmental organizations for its sustainability efforts. The improvements this fund would bring could only help advance the schoolâÄôs goal of being a leader in green energy. Since the proposed fee would pay the start-up costs, it would give the school plenty of time to prepare to pay for the whole fund when the fee expires, something the University should begin positioning itself to do immediately.

The fundâÄôs student and faculty oversight is also an excellent idea. Students should continue to ask the University for a greater voice in the schoolâÄôs operation: Student management of a green initiatives fund is a great beginning.

MSA and other student government units should support the Sustainable Legacy Fund and the University should prepare to take over financing the fund as soon as possible.