Green Tax on Tuition Dollars to Fund Tree Nursery

 

Solar Charging Station Outside of Perry Castenada Library

Solar Charging Station Outside of Perry Castenada Library
Photo credit: Gabriella Beltzar | Daily Texan Staff

An article on the front page of DT on Monday explains various uses of the $500,000 strong Green Fee Initiative. Every student pays $5 per long semester as part of tuition toward this fund. The Green Fee Committee is charged with allocating this fund; however, its own website admits that specific allocation guidelines are “yet to be adopted,” causing one to question exactly how does the committee objectively judge the merits of each “green” proposal that comes before it. According to its website, the GFI has funded pricey projects such as the “UT Tree Nursery” for a hefty sticker price of $35,478, “Activity and Service Expansion for the UT Campus Environmental Center ” for $47,025, a bicycle campaign for $32,060, $10,080 for a “solar powered campus,” and thousands of dollars more worth of projects. Is that really a good use of our tuition dollars? O, by the way, just in case that no one finds out about these wonderful things this committee is dictating for the community, the committee allocated $16,350 in 2011-2012 just to publicize these outrageous spending projects. While some projects appear more justifiable than others, the overall concept of coercing all students to pay into this fund by levying a fee as part of tuition is abominable. Considering the skyrocketing cost of higher education that is increasingly pricing middle and working class families from the college market, wouldn’t it be nice – and less bureaucratic – to instead use this money to set up a scholarship fund for gifted students majoring in environmental science? There are better ways to promote sustainability than subjectively awarding common-pooled money toward questionable, seemingly good “green” projects.

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About Danny Zeng

College student, political junkie, I like to read, and I like to learn

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