New election date alters “green” fee plans

By Gus Bode

A change in the dates of student government elections has caused a campus group to alter its plans for presenting a proposed “green” fee to the university’s Board of Trustees.

Project Eco-Dawgs, which includes a proposal for a $10 per semester student fee, won’t be formally presented to the board at its meeting April 10 as previously planned, said Jon Dyer, a co-coordinator for the project. Instead members of the group will have a less formal discussion with the board in executive session before the meeting, Dyer said.

“That way we can have a conversation,” he said.


Dyer said the change in plans occurred because student elections, which will include a referendum on the fee, were pushed back a week, meaning they will happen after the board meeting. The group originally planned to present the plan to the board only if the referendum showed student support for the fee.

If students vote in favor of the fee, Dyer said the group would attempt to get a resolution to pass the fee on the agenda for the board’s next meeting in June.

Project Eco-Dawgs is a plan drafted by students and staff to reduce the university’s contribution to global warming and make the campus more sustainable. The proposal includes a fee that would pay for on-campus renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability projects and research.

Student elections were first planned for April 8 and 9, but John Teresi, the election commissioner, said last week they would be conducted April 15 and 16. Teresi said the Undergraduate Student Government’s rules require elections to be held in the third week of April.

USG President Demetrous White said the elections were moved up a week last year to allow a smoother transition for the leadership. But White said the dates were changed this year because April 9 is Higher Education Lobby Day.

The university plans to send groups of students, faculty and staff to lobby the state legislature in Springfield for more higher education funding on Lobby Day.

The move was necessary in part because some of the candidates would probably make the trip to Springfield, he said.


“I would imagine if they’re involved in it for real, they’re going to want to go to Lobby Day and speak out on behalf of students and their issues,” he said.

Dyer said Project Eco-Dawgs would be presented to the USG at its meeting Wednesday, and there will be three open forums on the proposal on campus next week.

Joe Crawford can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 254 or