With donations from students, the Cougar Green Fund plans to ensure sustainability and improve the environment on campus.
The program was initiated at WSU in the summer of 2011 and aims to help improve sustainability through student proposed grants, said Leif Moon-Nielsen, a graduate student in the environmental science program and Student Cougar Green Fund co-founder.
During registration, students have the option to donate $5 to go toward funding these grants, he said. The Cougar Green Fund has generated almost $9,000 this semester.
“It provides a fund for undergraduate students or student groups to apply for grants to do projects that are sustainable or have environmentally friendly designs,” he said.
The Environmental Science Club and the ASWSU Environmental Task Force review the applications for funding, he said. They are then given to the WSU Sustainability and Environment committee, created by President Elson S. Floyd, which will make the final decision on what grants will be funded.
Senior environmental science major Robi Nilson is the chair for the ASWSU Environmental Task Force and is one of the students on the Sustainability and Environment committee. She is helping spread the word to students about the Green Fund.
“We’ve been doing different promotional events, have a Facebook page, place ads in the Evergreen and are setting up a table at the Sustainability Fair this week,” Nilson said.
Senior environmental science major Kelsey Kracher is also helping out with advertising the Green Fund.
“I just want everyone on campus to know about it, and I want them to understand that it’s an opportunity for them to, with just $5, improve the environmental footprint of the campus,” Kracher said.
Other universities such as Western Washington University, University of Washington and University of Idaho have adopted similar Green Fund projects to help make the schools more environmentally friendly, Moon-Nielson said.
Moon-Nielson said he hopes the Cougar Green Fund will provide opportunities for the Pullman campus to further sustainability programs and initiatives, including alternative energy projects, recycling programs and water and energy conservation.
Besides applying for grants, students can also be involved with helping funded projects by joining the Environmental Science Club or become a member of the ASWSU Environmental Task Force, he said.
Applications for the grants for fall semester are due by Friday while the applications for spring semester are due March 6 and can be found on the Cougar Green Fund website, along with more information about the program.