Mention a fee hike and you will likely spur a student rally somewhere. However at the University of Georgia, students are imposing fees on themselves.
Starting next semester students will be charged $3 each to help their college go green.
“This is something universities need, and we have said this is something that matters to us,” said Mark Milby, a senior from Marietta, Georgia and a member of the Go Green Alliance, which developed and promoted the fee. “We’re not the first college to do this, but it is an important step for UGA and will alow us to make an impact.”
Expected to generate around $150,000 per year the fee will go towards funding a new Office of Sustainability, which will co-ordinate all environmental and sustainability efforts on campus.
Students say the new program will make campus cleanup efforts more efficient and provide oversight to make sure environmental expectation are met.
In recent years more students nationwide have been willing to fork over their own money to green their universities, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The University of Georgia is only the latest college to set up a sustainability office.
Neighbouring Georgia Tech and Emory University, which set up its office in 2006, are already ahead of the game.
Aside from issues like recycling, students are challenging college officials to ramp up a medley of environmental efforts, such as energy conservation and waste reduction. They also want their colleges to offer more organic and locally grown food in dining halls.