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Sustainability fund amendment to Union Constitution passes with student body vote

By web

Section: News

April 30, 2010

The student body voted Monday to pay an extra $15 per year as part of their Student Activities Fee in order to create the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, reaching the required two-thirds majority in a special campus-wide vote.

The fund created by the vote to raise the Student Activity Fee, currently $324 a year, will give students a vehicle through which they can fund projects pertaining to sustainability.

The board members of the newly created Sustainability Fund Administrative Board will decide what proposals to finance on factors such as “relevancy, impact” and other considerations such as which projects will best improve campus sustainability and greener student life.

“I’m excited for Brandeis, this is an opportunity for all students to fund and have their projects on sustainability,” said Hannah Saltman ’12, president of Students for Environmental Action (SEA), a club whose members sponsored the amendment.

“This has been a yearlong process and it’s very nice to have a victory,” Saltman said. “We’ve met with multiple administrators, Student Union leaders from the president to the treasurer, then 10 Senate signatures to even get to a vote of the student body … I’m very excited.”

The period between the announcement of the amendment proposal and the vote consisted of opposing and at times passionate reactions from many students. SEA, one of the largest undergraduate clubs, defended some misunderstanding that the money, totaling nearly $50,000 judged by the current undergraduate population, would go to the club itself.

“I think that we passed this under this principle [students raising their own fees] because it was the first one,” said Nathan Robinson ’11, who has written about his opposition to the amendment on the Brandeis-based blog Innermost Parts. “Now, we must just impose good proposals. The board has $50,000 but no specific purview and we have to hold them accountable.”

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