UW News

October 14, 2010

UW’s first-ever Sustainability Summit and fair is Oct. 20

News and Information

The UW’s first ever Sustainability Summit Wednesday, Oct. 20, is a chance to learn how you can be involved, brainstorm new ways for the University to be more sustainable and find out how to apply for funding to make some of those ideas a reality.

The day marks the first call for proposals for $340,000 in funding through the Campus Sustainability Fund. The Student Services and Activities Fee Committee voted last May to create the fund as part of the activities fees students pay.

While funded by students, proposals are welcome from students, faculty and staff.

Think compost receptacles should dot the campus and not just be clustered near food services areas? Think the UW should have more green roofs? Have an idea how more rooms could be equipped with lights that turn on only when someone is there? Want campus eaters to have more access to organic and sustainably grown foods?

Summit organizers want to hear from you, according Claudia Frere, manager of the UW’s environmental stewardship and sustainability office that is the main sponsor of the event, and undergraduate David Corrado, who is serving as summit coordinator. More than 15 groups on and off campus are co-sponsors of the activities.

At the summit, browse booths at a sustainability fair from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Red Square to learn what’s under way on campus and in the region.

At noon gather at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium for speakers, such as Craig Benjamin of the Seattle Chapter of the Sierra Club, and at 12:45 for breakout sessions meant to get students, faculty and staff brainstorming. Breakout sessions will focus on such things as campus energy use, waste (recycling, composting and waste reduction), food systems and academic engagement in climate change.

Julie Fisk will explain the proposal process for the Campus Sustainability Fund and provide the link to the fund’s website scheduled to go live that day. Fisk, a master’s student in marine affairs, was hired as the fund’s first coordinator.

“Because this is funded and led by students, one fear is that faculty and staff will think it’s only for students,” Fisk says. “That’s not the case.”

The fund can be used for projects both large and small. Groups conducting a campus performance, competition or some other event might, for example, apply for money to cover the costs of making sure recycling and composting is available at the event.

The website will include a message board where, for instance, a staff member might be involved with a sustainability project and need student volunteers. Or students seeking project work — some, for example, are required to do volunteer work as part of their classes or senior capstone projects — could say they are looking for volunteer opportunities. There will also be information about how to submit funding proposals. 

Seven students, who will be voting members on the committee evaluating funding proposals, are now being appointed. The committee will have three faculty and staff in advisory roles. They are Jim Angelosante, director for finance and business services, Facilities Services; Bruce Balick, professor of astronomy; and Amy Floit, director of budget operations, Planning and Budgeting.