Student council approves sustainability-oriented legislation

Sustainability Committee Chair Augie McGinnity-Wake, who is also a member of GFAB, explained the educational purposes behind some of the legislation approved at Wednesday’s meeting.

Image By: Robert Darlington

The Associated Students of Madison Student Council approved several pieces of new legislation centered on campuswide sustainability practices during its meeting Wednesday.

Each piece of sustainability-focused legislation is financed by the Green Fund, which ASM created in 2013 to provide grants for student projects promoting sustainability initiatives on campus.

The grants first passed through the Green Fund Advisory Board—the body that reviews project applications and discusses how funds will be allocated—and then moved to the Finance Committee for final review before being introduced to the council.

ASM Chair Madison Laning briefly described the goals behind the GFAB.

“So many of us aren’t as aware of sustainable issues and how they impact us on an ‘every single day, every minute’ basis of our life,” Laning said. “That’s why we put together the GFAB in order to assess that, and have people who are well-versed in knowledge within the sustainable realm to be able to look at these grants.”

GFAB Chair Colton Wickland explained all of the proposals furthered the mission of the registered student organization requesting the grant, served a purpose to the student body and included an educational component.

Wickland introduced the Meatless Mondays grant, proposed by a student organization promoting meatless options in campus dining halls weekly. The group’s goal is to educate students on the sustainability benefits of eating less meat, which include allowing less pollutants into the air than meat typically produces.

Finance Committee Chair Ariela Rivkin also spoke about a grant for an on-campus bike safety series. The grant was approved by the council after Rivkin made an amendment that eliminated more than $9,000 in funds for 300 bike helmets and lights to be given out at the series, something she said did not fully serve the series’ educational purpose.

Other grants approved included funds for the Bottle Free Badgers campaign and a cooking seminar series that aims to educate students on sustainable cooking practices. The council approved each piece of new legislation.

Also at the meeting, council members elected former Recruitment and Retention Coordinator Vanessa Studer as the new ASM vice chair, as well as electing Nima Cheraghi as the new press office director.

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