The Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) is projected to accrue $116,000 this year. Students will be able to submit proposals to the committee, which is made up of students and faculty, to increase the university’s energy efficiency and fund renewable energy projects. The first committee meeting is this Wednesday, Jan. 11, and there are many great ideas on how to allocate the funds. Some ideas are doing energy audits on the buildings, efficient lighting, and solar panels.
Students voted to have the SGEF last semester. For each credit hour, $1 goes toward the fund. We are fortunate to have the ability to better our own campus via student lead initiatives. Only two other schools in Florida have SGEF, USF Tampa and New College. Many other students at other Florida universities are trying hard to implement it on their campus too, such as FIU, FAMU, FSU, UF, UWF and more.
Florida is not the only state that wants SGEF on their campus. At the beginning of November, I attended the 7th Annual Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Over 400 Students from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana attended. At the conference, there was a thorough training session for students to discuss SGEF. It was really inspiring to see how many students were working to have SGEF on their campus. Being that USFSP is one of the first schools in the southeast to receive SGEF, I learned that many of the students from other schools in different states are familiar with USF. They were excited and curious to know more about what kind of ideas students are discussing in order to reduce energy waste and encourage renewable energy use on our campus.
This fund being available is a great opportunity for students to learn and be creative by submitting proposals to the university to lower its carbon footprint, save energy, and use renewable energy. I am excited about the future of our university and the greening projects that will be taken on.