BY: Joe Scott
The UM Green Fund (UMGF) was created in spring of 2013.The UMGF provides funding for the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects, programs, and policies. University administration supplies the UMGF with an annual budget of $15,000 and matches donations by 50%. Proposals can be made by any students, faculty, or staff of the University of Mississippi.
“I guess I never saw myself as an activist or anything.” said Grace Herrington, sophomore and author of last year’s RC South Recycles Proposal. “There were just no easy options for recycling, so we started collecting on our own. We realized that others were doing the same and saw willingness to recycle if the tools were provided. The Green Fund was the best chance to make that happen”
Herrington’s proposal, that was selected by the Green Fund Committee last November, will bring recycling bins to all dorms and a larger bin to all of the trash closets at the RC South.
The UMGF committee will review all project proposals and select an initial round of proposals to consider. All proposers selected during the first round will then be invited to speak at the public hearing/forum. One member from the project group must be present at that event to present and answer questions about the project. Following the public meeting, the committee and, in some cases, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance will make final selections.
The Green Fund Committee will review proposals and make selections using the project’s impact, visibility and feasibility as criteria. Projects selected last November include a Bike Repair Station at the RC South, the Recycling Program for the RC South, Dorm Dumpster Donations, and the Mississippi River Dance on Mud Island.
Past proposals have been nonspecific and of wide variety. Proposals should meet the guidelines found at http://green.olemiss.edu/propose-a-project/.
“This is a non-traditional project in that it is temporal and focuses on the use of the arts to call attention to sustainability issues.” said Prof. Jennifer Mizenko, author of the Mississippi River Dance Proposal.
Mizenko is a Professor of Dance at the University of Mississippi. Her project is in participation with the National Water Dance 2016. The National Water Dance is a collection of dance artists and educators that use the medium of dance to call attention to pressing water issues nationwide. Through creating simultaneous, site-specific performances across the nation on April 16, 2016, the art of dance is used to express the absolute necessity of clean water.
“This project advances the university’s commitment to sustainability issues by supporting the arts as a means to communicate the importance of clean water.” said Mizenko.
The UMGF offers an opportunity for members of the University community to participate and make progress happen on campus. The proposal process is meant to inspire participation by students, faculty, and staff.
“The proposal process was easy and great to do.” said Herrington. “The public speaking aspect can seem daunting, but the Green Fund really gives you a sense that we’re all in this together for a greener campus.”
Learn more about the University of Mississippi Green Fund at http://green.olemiss.edu/.