New Legislation has recently been proposed to the UW-Madison student government concerning the creation of a new committee. The Sustainability Committee of the Associated Students of Madison would focus of issues concerning sustainability on campus.
There are four areas of focus that this committee plans to address while in existence. These are campus water use, energy use, land use and food sourcing. Solutions to these important issues will come through policy mechanisms in student government and working with UW-Madison faculty and administration.
Personally, I have always had a problem with the energy use on campus, especially when it comes to heating and cooling campus buildings. Why is almost every building hooked up to a single, central system? Every building should be heated and cooled differently. It makes no sense economically or environmentally. But I digress.
Anyway, there is only one problem with this committee and that is that it does not yet exist. Legislation has been proposed, but the likelihood of its creation is not looking good. There are basically two areas of concern. One is that there is not enough money in the budget to add another position that will, at some point, need to be paid. Second is that there is not enough interest to sustain this committee.
Firstly, there is definitely room in the budget to support a group like this. I have seen the ASM budget and believe me there is plenty of useless spending that can be spread out more efficiently. Not only that, but this should be something that ASM supports. All of last year The Daily Cardinal scolded ASM for basically not doing anything. This is a chance for them to break the pattern and actually make a significant difference on our campus.
Which brings us to the second issue of a lack of interest. Why wouldn’t you rally behind a cause like this? Our school should be recognized for things other than our academics and what better way than through increased sustainability? As Badgers, we should have an unwavering pride in our campus. Would making UW-Madison more sustainable not elevate that pride to a whole new level?
Being a person who has never labeled himself as an environmentalist or somebody who is a fan of slow-moving and indecisive committees, I still believe that the creation of this group is extremely important to our campus. Its focus is specific and well planned and could make a significantly positive influence on campus if successful. Quite frankly, I am a bit surprised and a little disappointed that there is opposition to this idea.
So what does the future hold for the Sustainability Committee of the Associated Students of Madison? There is an open forum Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. where students can come and show their support. Visible support is a vital ingredient to the successful creation of this committee and I implore students to show up.
Furthermore, get in contact with the members of the student council. Email or call them and show how important this sustainability committee is to our campus.
The Sustainability Committee of the Associated Students of Madison has good intentions, good ideas and a focused mission. I fully support this committee as should every student at UW-Madison.
Nick is a senior majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship. Do you think that the creation of the Sustainability Committee Students of Madison is a good idea? Please send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.