Going green: Green Action Fund supports student-driven sustainability projects

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(Infographic by Julie Freijat | Collegian Media Group)

The leaves may be turning, but green hasn’t gone out of style as the Green Action Fund calls for proposals for projects dedicated to creating a more eco-friendly campus.

Lane Lundeen, chair of the fund, Student Governing Association sustainability director and junior in fisheries and wildlife conservation, said the fund calls for promoting sustainability at Kansas State.

“This year, we have around $14,000 to allocate towards green purposes on campus,” he said. “They have to be student-led and have a certain set of rules that are in the call for proposals.”

Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness Brian Niehoff said the Green Action Fund was created to provide funding for student-led projects that target areas of sustainability.

“There’s a wide range of the types of projects that get funding each year,” he said. “We’ve funded things from small projects with [the] Rec Center, to Green Apple Bikes on campus, to Earth Day, assistance to dorm projects, to class projects.”

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(Infographic by Julie Freijat | Collegian Media Group)

Types of projects and proposals vary year-to-year, Niehoff said.

“One year we funded — I didn’t get a chance to go to it, but last year, we funded a project with our apparel and textiles department,” Niehoff said. “We provided a little bit of funding to put on this event — it actually just happened about a week ago — on sustainable fashion. It was really interesting.”

Niehoff said due to matters like budget cuts, the fund toys with the distribution of money to provide the best financial assistance.

“Our goal is to try to fund as many different projects as we can,” Niehoff said. “And so, we might fiddle with some of the budgets and say, ‘Let’s fund this part of the budget, but let’s not fund that part’ because we could actually fund more projects if we don’t fund that particular part.”

SGA’s Student Centered Tuition Enhancement fund supports the Green Action Fund, but less money is available this year compared to years past.

“So, this year, we’re going to have the least amount of money available as we’ve ever had,” Niehoff said. “So it’s going to be a little more difficult in terms of determining exactly who’s going to get funded and how much, but that’s sort of where we are.”

Lundeen said the fund benefits K-State by brightening campus and boosting morale.

“The betterment of the environment would go towards the betterment of students, because, as we all know, what we live in is kind of how we feel,” Lundeen said. “And if campus looks nicer, runs nicer, it would help with the efficiency of students”

Niehoff said the opportunity provides students with an outlet to be creative and generate eco-friendly projects.

“We’re hoping that we can continue to open up more and more sustainable projects and sustainable outcomes on campus,” Niefhoff said. “I think that one of the things I’m really optimistic about is the attitude of students towards sustainable projects and sustainability in general.

“So many students are engaged with this, so many students are interested in this. I believe that that’s the positive nature of this whole fund — is it is funding projects that add to that climate of sustainability that exists out there among students and faculty both.”

The deadline to submit a proposal for the Green Action Fund is 5 p.m. Nov. 26.

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Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the copy chief and deputy managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.