For both tickets, sustainability programs consistently present in platforms

logoBoth SGA tickets are focusing on environmental sustainability as a key platform in this year’s elections.

Shane McCarty, SGA4You vice presidential candidate, said sustainability is one of the top concerns for students at Tech.

“SGA4You found that an overwhelming majority of students said that sustainability is a very important issue on our campus,” McCarty said. “One of our plans is to replace the incandescent light bulbs on campus with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which in turn would reduce energy usage by 75 percent. This is not only a way to save money for Tech, but it is also a way to be sustainable at the same time.”

Morgan Bradley, SGA4You secretary candidate added that SGA4You is also interested in implementing a university wide recycling program.

Kirsten Kube, UnitedSGA vice presidential candidate, said UnitedSGA is working to deal directly with sustainability issues on campus.

“Our program would involve creating a position on our executive team that deals directly with sustainability as it relates to student outreach,” Kube said. “We could hold monthly seminars on sustainability for the students. The goal is to make the students aware that they can make a difference in helping this community become more green.”

McCarty said one of SGA4You’s platforms is making a “Big Event: Green Edition” next year.

“What we would be doing is giving the homeowner long-term value, something that will save them money,” McCarty said. “For a lot of people, they consider energy bills a fixed cost, so what we want to do as students is to find a way to give back that will provide long-term value. There are simple things that we can do and it is amazing how some things like lighting and cracked windows are where your high costs in electricity are coming from.”

Alex Miller, UnitedSGA presidential candidate, said UnitedSGA is working to advocate the dining initiative of reusable mugs on campus.

“Members of the Environmental Coalition have been big advocates of the reusable mugs,” Miller said. “We have met with Andy Sarjahani, the sustainability coordinator on campus. He said that through the legislation passed in the fall, Tech is looking into using the reusable mugs, but they are still looking at which type of mug would work best for students.”

Miller added that UnitedSGA does not have all of the answers, but they do have ideas on how to improve campus.

“I think that the dining halls would still have cups, because not all students would want to necessarily buy one of the mugs,” Miller said. “It would be an optional program, but I think that if the benefits are there, then the students will want to buy the mugs. I think it would be convenient for students if the reusable mug program was put into effect.”

McCarty said SGA4You hopes to start a new sustainability program for freshmen next year.

“We want to start a program called Freshman Leadership Organizations and have one group that would focus on sustainability,” McCarty said. “One of the things we would want to do is train that FLO group with the Environmental Coalition to be energy auditors, so when they are at Tech they can give back to the Blacksburg community and Tech specifically by doing energy audits.”

McCarty added that students might find a career path out of the opportunity to work as energy auditors.

“By creating a pool of student energy auditors that are students is something that the students will benefit from in the future,” McCarty said. “When those students go out after college, they can audit for their own home so that their home is energy efficient. This can also be a career path for students, so instilling them with skills that benefit both the student and the university, that is what our whole campaign is about, looking for the win-wins.”

Bradley said the Residence Hall Federation has been working to bring reusable bags to the dining halls.

“It would be a bag that students would use every time they wanted to get food to go,” Bradley said. “It would be a small step, but I think it would really make a huge difference.”

Kube said the issue of sustainability is something that the students care deeply about.

“We want to create a position on our executive team that deals directly with sustainability as it relates to the student outreach,” Kube said. “Our idea is to hold monthly seminars on sustainability. It would make the students aware that they can make a difference in helping our community become more green.”

Source: Collegiate Times


~ by shanemccarty on April 4, 2009.

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