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New student-initiated sustainability fee approved

April 15, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Responding to a student-led initiative and vote, Western Michigan University trustees approved a new $8 per-semester fee that will begin in fall 2010 and fund campus efforts to sustain a campus culture focused on sustainability.

The fee, which applies to students on WMU's main campus only, was approved by students who voted in a campuswide general election this spring. The fee calls for students to be assessed $8 per semester and $4 for each of two shorter summer sessions to fund student designed and led sustainability initiatives.

The fee, which will generate an estimated $440,000 annually, also would be used to support a Sustainability Office, a green jobs program for students and student research.

The fee referendum appeared on a ballot in a general election sponsored by the Western Student Association March 15-19. The Western Student Association is WMU's elected student government organization. Of those voting, 60 percent--1,002 students--supported the fee, while 40 percent--662 students--opposed the move. Final approval by the WMU Board of Trustees is required for any change in student fees.

Details and logistics for distributing the funds are still to be determined. A student-majority committee will work with the President's Universitywide Sustainability Committee and the vice president for student affairs to determine an appropriate allocation process.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Western Michigan University
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