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Student Green Energy Fund ideas sought

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The Student Green Energy Fund Committee hosted a series of workshops last Wednesday, March 21. The intent of the event was to educate students and staff about SGEF, and the business aspect of SGEF. Zaida Darley from the Tampa campus filled us in, and Reuben Pressman facilitated an amazing brainstorming activity.

David O’Neill kicked off the event telling students and staff about how we came to be one of the first universities in Florida to have the SGEF. He let students know how students led a grassroots campaign to get SGEF on the ballot.

Next, the committee advisor Frederick Bennett gave a presentation regarding the business side of SGEF to get people thinking about the triple bottom line of implementing sustainable measures: people, planet and profit.

He also mentioned the importance of calculating a project’s return on investment (ROI). Because the projects that will be funded by SGEF will increase USFSP’s energy efficiency, they will eventually pay for themselves. It will help someone’s argument during the proposal process to have a fairly short ROI.

From the Tampa campus, Zaida Darley came to USFSP to let us know what Tampa has accomplished. She told us about other student projects, their proposal process, and things they’ve learned, good and bad. It was really inspiring to see what Tampa has already planned to implement on their campus. It’s exciting to think about what we can do to our campus.

After breaking for lunch, the highlight of the event was Reuben Pressman’s brainstorming session. We got into small groups and were given six pieces of paper with sticky notes on them: waste, water, energy, ecology, health and food. We wrote one idea per sticky note for what could be done to address problems with the various topics. The sticky notes were then lined up on chart paper according to topic and we looked at each other’s ideas. There was space for us to check mark what we like or write our name and email if there was a topic that we would like to work on.

Lena Wray, a sophomore majoring in biology, is a voting member of the SGEF committee. She did a great job planning the workshops. Thank you Lena for giving us this space to learn about SGEF and walk out with ideas for proposals.

If you have an idea or want to help work on a project, contact Mike Legget at mrleggett@mail.usf.edu or submit your idea at usfsp.edu/sgef.

Lauren Reilly
Student, SG senator

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