The Student Government Association got a total of 1,632 votes for the Green Fee and 1,260 voted "yes."
The Pine Log reported last week that the next step for the Green Fee to be implemented is a presentation to the Board of Regents in January. The Green Fee is very beneficial to not only in the present, but for years to come.
The Green Fee is a $5 fee per semester that will fund upcoming projects proposed by SFA students, faculty and staff. $5 is not that much to ask compared to the Athletic Fee that was proposed back in 2016 and asked for $10 per credit hour, resulting in up to $150 additional in tuition. Students already have the additional $10 post office fee.
However, in the end, making the additional fee $15 instead of $150 looks like the better outcome. Also, the proposition of the Athletic Fee seemed to just benefit a certain group of students. There’s nothing wrong with updating the sports facilities and anything else athletes need, but the money shouldn’t be coming from the students, especially when they can’t reap the benefits. With the Green Fee, students would be getting what they put in and will see the rewards throughout campus instead of in just one specific area.
Another benefit is that the money can be used to create an environmentally friendly campus. For example, adding recycling stations at convenient places instead of having people drive off campus would give students more of an initiative to recycle. More solar powered buildings or facilities over time can reduce the electricity bill. The saved money could be used to fund other school projects that need attention. Once we as a community start making a conscious effort in helping the environment stay healthy and clean, the rewards will be abundant.
The passing of the Green Fee also will show students that they do have a say in what goes on at SFA. SGA stresses that, although it is easy to share frustrations about the dilemmas we face on campus and it may increase awareness, it’s better to go the extra step and do it in person.
In this case, things worked out, and now students have the upper hand in changing what has been done for the better. Because overall, it is the students who should be the big voice to direct what needs to be done in order to give students a better environment. And now they will, bringing new ideas that will put the additional fee to good use. Seeing the positive feedback in voting “yes” for the Green Fee proves that once students are given an opportunity to make a change, they will take it.
Going green gets a mixed reaction from the public. But, no matter what anyone says, the Earth isn’t the same as it once was. Even the little things, such as recycling and using solar power, will build up and eventually make things better for the environment.
We are in favor of the Green Fee and hope that this will lead to more efforts to go green at SFA.