Green Action Fund helps students make campus green

Started in 2015, the Green Apple Bike program has taken off in Manhattan. Now regular bike racks can be seen around campus for student use. (Archive photo by Nick Horvath | Collegian Media Group)

There is paperless record keeping at the Recreation Center. Green Apple Bikes are sprinkled across campus. Both of these were projects conceptualized by students and made a reality with financial support from the Green Action Fund.

Each year the Green Action Fund Committee assesses applications from students, who fill out a proposal and present to the committee. The committee then determines whether or not the project will be funded.

A key part of this funding is that projects are encouraged to be student-led, said Matt Mindrup, junior in biology and philosophy and student director of sustainability.

“It’s a student-centered project, so it’s funded by students and it’s for students to make our campus more sustainable, our world more sustainable, and really bring focus to how we can do that as a university,” Mindrup said.

Ramin Rostampour, senior in civil engineering, sent the committee the proposal for a paperless record keeping system at the Recreation Center. Rostampour said the reason it is important students be involved in all parts of the process is because it helps them be a part of the green movement on campus.

“Students need to have as much of a stake as possible because, not only is it to make campus greener, but it’s to teach students about how green-ification works,” Rostampour said.

The submissions for the Green Action Fund have increased in numbers over the years, but Rostampour said his goal is to make the fund more well known in order to help get more submissions.

“I’m looking at ways for people to know more about it, but also be green,” Rostampour said. “So printing a million flyers and putting them up would not be the greenest way to go about that.”

Another project funded with Green Action support was the arrival of Green Apple Bikes on campus specifically. Alex Bentzinger, former K-State student and president of Bentz Creative, worked with a partner to get funding through the Green Action Fund to include K-State’s campus in the bike sharing service. Bentzinger said students should not get too overwhelmed by the process or the idea because the idea does not have to be revolutionary in order to be helpful or important.

“I guess I wouldn’t recommend that people get stuck inside of their box, that it needs to look a certain way, like some big technology piece,” Bentzinger said.

Additionally, Mindrup reminds students of the purpose of this organization: to fund the ideas of students, allowing them to contribute to the green movement without requiring the use of personal funds.

“This is a great opportunity for them to get funding for projects and get experience carrying those out without having that burden of how they’re going to finance it,” Mindrup said.

My name is Emily Moore and I'm a senior majoring in English and mass communications with a minor in leadership. I love to read, write and edit. During my free time, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, rock climbing and spending time with my friends.