Earlier this month, The Student Government Association Senate voted unanimously to call a referendum on Oct. 29 and 30 to let students choose whether or not to institute a $5 per semester green fee.
The results are in and the $5 per semester green fee has been voted yes by students.
Dr. Adam Peck, SGA advisor, released the results of the referendum on Twitter shortly after the results were in.
“I wanted to communicate the results of the referendum to create an Environmental Services Fee of $5 per student per semester. A total of 1,632 students voted in the referendum. The results are as follows. Yes: 1260, No: 372. Thank you to all who voted!”
Now that the fee has been voted yes by students, it will be presented to the board of regents in their next meeting in January.
“We got the results at 4:05 this afternoon. The $5 per semester green fee, the environmental service fee has been passed and now we will move forward with all the structural and all the policy things and we’re just real excited that everyone went out and voted for it,” said SGA president Scarleth Lopez, senior psychology major from Dayton.
The next step for the green fee project is to write the policy so Jacks Go Green can take a board action item to the board of regents.
“I’m really grateful for everyone that worked together in the coalition, for everyone that went out and voted and retweeted and posted on their social media. I’m eternally grateful for this group and for the students that made this happen,” Lopez said.
When Lopez ran for SGA president last semester, she ran on the platform of environmental changes on campus.
“I knew the environmental awareness movement had brought forward the idea of a referendum but it just never got done. I definitely wanted to make sure that the students were being heard. My idea was just to make sure they were heard,” she said.
Lopez said that seeing the hard work everyone was putting in, has paid off.
Emily Ivester, junior environmental science major from Denton, said that she has researched the green fund on other campuses.
“I always wished it was something we could do here,” Ivester said.
When a friend approached her saying a coalition was being formed for the green fee, Ivester said she wanted to get on board.
“This is awesome for not only SFA, but for the Nacogdoches community to be involved in projects like this and having them on our campus,” she said.
Tyler Brady, sophomore biology major from Carthage, said that the main reason that he is excited for the green fee passed within students is because there will be more options to be environmentally friendly.
“Right now there are a few reclying bins, but there’s not much else you can do, so with this, students can have a voice to propose plans. It’ll really give people a chance to take more action,” he said.
Brady said he hopes more students show an interest and learn more about sustainability and being environmentally friendly.
“It’s really important to do these things. I want to see bike sharing, composting, recycling, solar panels, anything that makes our campus a much greener place,” he said.