HED: UM Green Fund Now Accepting New Proposals
SUB: Green Fund implements innovative sustainability projects on campus
by Joe Scott
OXFORD—The University of Mississippi Green Fund is accepting project proposals from faculty, staff, and students through Oct. 19. The Green Fund, created in 2012 to fund sustainability projects on campus, is supported by the university as well as donations from the public.
Projects by the Green Fund vary in scale, ranging from the installation of several campus hydration stations to provide refills for reusable containers to the launch of a composting program which has diverted more than 36,000 pounds of campus food waste from the landfill since 2013.
“The Green Fund is extremely important to the university's commitment to sustainability,” said Ty Allushuski, assistant director of Admissions and UM Green Fund Committee member. “As a campus we have made tremendous strides in recent years related to sustainability, and the Green Fund helps encourage sustainable practices and brings much-needed attention to the efforts.”
Students, faculty, and staff are able to submit proposals as individuals, groups or departments. Groups of students in Allushuski’s EDHE 305 course submit Green Fund proposals each fall.
“The entire process of brainstorming an idea, researching the potential environmental impact, making contacts with different offices on campus, and working as a group provides valuable skills and lessons for the students,” Allushuski said. “In addition, several of my students have had projects funded in the past and this gives them a vested interest in sustainability and their own campus.
The UMGF Committee will review proposals and make selections using the project’s impact, visibility, and feasibility as criteria. All proposers selected in the first round will be invited to speak at the public forum to be held the week of November 8. Proposal awards will be announced in late November.
“I like the two-step evaluation process in which the award committee was able to hear from the applicants in person and ask them questions,” said Jason Hoeksema, associate professor of biology who received funding for an upcoming native plants project. "Most grant proposal review processes don't allow for this back-and-forth process, which is really valuable.”
Proposals should meet the guidelines found at green.olemiss.edu and should be submitted email@example.com by Oct. 19.
Past proposals have made lasting impacts on the environment and the university’s sustainable culture. The projects provide a unique chance for faculty, staff, and students to contribute to the sustainability of their university.
The Compost Project Expansion composted 6,000 lbs of food waste, creating 19 cubic yards of compost used by the Residential College Garden Club. This year the project expects to compost up to 36,000 lbs of food waste.
The Low-E Film project provided low emission film on the Eastern windows of the J. D. Williams Library. The film works by reflecting 57% of solar energy, thus lowering cooling costs. The film is expected to lower energy use from 10-40% and will pay for itself within 3 years.
Last year the UMGF committee funded the purchase of a Rhoades Car for campus and the installation of native plants on campus.
Students and faculty are encouraged to participate not only by submitting proposals, but also by measuring and analyzing the success of the Green Fund projects.
"My hope is that the Green Fund will continue to grow in size and in its impact on the Oxford-University community,” said Alex Borst, a senior international studies major from Madison, Mississippi and a student member of the UM Green Fund Committee. “The funds are there, we just need more innovative people to utilize them more often."
To get involved with the UM Green Fund or make donations, visit green.olemiss.edu or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've had the privilege to write content for a variety of publications and digital media, including The Daily Mississippian, The Oxford Eagle, The Red Blue and Green Blog, The Elevator Project, and The Visit Oxford Blog,