After reading everything I have in The Temple News about the green fee, I want to make a few things clear. I am an active member of Students for Environmental Action and do petition for the green fee, and it is clear that some students and some reports in The Temple News do not understand what we want to accomplish.
First and foremost, in an article printed two weeks ago [Oct. 6, “$5 green fee garners support” by Nadia Elkaddi] the reporter said SEA members would be responsible for the allocation of the funds. This is untrue. The plan is for the funds to go to a panel of faculty and students to be allocated for sustainable initiatives. Who will sit on this panel has yet to be discussed by the administration, Temple Student Government and SEA.
Secondly, the article mentioned specific things we would like to accomplish with this money. While we do want more bike racks, more recycling, organic food in our cafeterias and more green spaces like “Beury Beach” [the lawn in front of Beury Hall], the beauty of this fee is that any student can propose an initiative, and this panel of faculty and students will decide whether to allocate for it and if so, how much to. That means anyone – including the president of Temple College Republicans, who wrote a letter last week opposing this fee – could come up with an idea and get money for it from this fee as long as it helps Temple become more environmentally friendly.
Finally, to the points made in last week’s letter to the editor: Yes, we do have recycling and bike racks, but all any student has to do is look around, and they will see bikes chained to fences, which shows we need more. In terms of recycling, it is true I could recycle bottles and cans in many places on this campus, but outside of dorms and some academic buildings on this campus I have found very few places to recycle paper, which is a huge problem. In terms of subsidizing TransPasses, this is not only beneficial for Temple commuters, but it is great for any student who has a job off-campus, has classes at TUCC (now that there is no TUCC shuttle) or wants to go explore the city, the latter being part of the platform TU Action! – Temple’s current student government team – ran on last year.
In response to getting Temple to pay more for light bulbs: This would decrease the cost for Temple’s electricity in the long-run, which would most likely result in students paying a little less for tuition – something I would think most students would be supportive of.
In conclusion, if you have an issue with the green fee, come to SEA meetings Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in the Student Center, room 217A to voice your concerns. But ultimately, the things done with this fee will be up to Temple students who are active enough to propose initiatives. The students who want to change this university for the better should support this fee.
All Sides President
Active SEA Member
Class of 2012