Garden's for a Future


President Spaniolo’s Response on the Green Fund
March 15, 2011, 5:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, I’ll give you my initial e-mail to him, and his response to me.

Let me Know what you Think.

My Email
From: Chowgene Koay [mailto:chow.koay@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 8:34 PM
To: Spaniolo, James
Subject: Green Fund Initiative at UT Arlington

Dear President  Spaniolo,

My name is Chowgene Jeremy Koay. I am a current student at UT Arlington within the Interdisciplinary Studies program, am an active member within the community volunteering with various nonprofits including but not limited to the Arlington Conservation Council and Tarrant Area Food Bank, actively participate in campus activities such as the bicycle workshop program, lead the Environmental Society at UTA, and conduct various independent experiments and projects in the realm of agriculture in Dallas-Fort Worth.

This e-mail is to inform you of a great opportunity for current and future UT Arlington students with a Green Fund Initiative and to obtain your approval of it.

A Green Fund would increase tuition for students per semester in the range of one penny to five dollars. This allocated fee will pool the additional fee for student-led projects in sustainability. To receive funds students, faculty, or staff can submit proposals for project initiatives much like a grant. These proposals would then filter through an elected student body, organization, or campus department to allocate funds for various projects and initiatives.

The downside is that this does increase tuition. On the other hand, the advantages must be taken into consideration as well. With such a fund, students can take an active role in applying their knowledge and education within their community which will reflect on the standard of education and life given to us at UT Arlington. At the same time, it enhances students abilities to take leadership roles, develop new relations in a working environment, and enables new opportunities and resources for students that never were available before.

In your Tuition speech in 2004, you stated tuition increases “doesn’t mean students are paying more”  and that “an education is an investment that will pay handsomely for a lifetime.”  I hope you see the Green Fund as a way for students to apply their education at UT Arlington and to use those experiences to invest and create a way of life for themselves.

Please let me know where you stand,

Chowgene Koay
President
Environmental Society”

His E-Mail

“From: Spaniolo, James
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 3:48 PM
To: Koay, Chowgene
Subject: Re: Green Fund Initiative at UT Arlington

“Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000005751 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000005717 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000005717

Dear Chowgene,

Thank you for your recent email. Your record of service to UT Arlington and to the community is impressive.  Thank you for being such an outstanding representative of our great university.

Regarding the potential “green fee,” it’s an interesting idea with plenty of merit and some degree of student support, albeit the overall turnout in the election was quite low.  But whatever merit it may have, this simply isn’t the right time to add an additional fee to our students’ tuition cost.

Even without the “green fee,” though, we’ve accomplished a great deal on campus in the spirit of sustainability—much of which you’ve been a part, along with Meghna Tare, Becky Valentich, and many others.  I’m proud of our record of sustainability.

The latest example is our extraordinary community garden, which opened the same day as our new Engineering Research Building that we expect will obtain LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Commission.  (We’re hopeful that the College Park Center, currently under construction on the east side of campus, will also attain LEED Gold.)

Add to that initiatives like our a robust composting and recycling programs, innovative utility contract, tray-less dining in the cafeteria, and so many more, and we’re accomplishing a great deal at UT Arlington in terms of sustainability.  Even without a “green fee” in place.

Thank you for doing your part—and more.

Sincerely,

James D. Spaniolo
President

James D. Spaniolo, President
817-272-2101 •  jds@uta.edu

<http://www.uta.edu/>”





Observations on Building Community
March 10, 2011, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted.

This is the idea at the moment. We’ve been helping people install gardens in various places and mustering a force to do this everywhere. The issue with this is that it’s hard for people outside to get involved because we’re meandering to other locations they may not be aware about.

It’s great that we are coming together to put in gardens and plots to be maintained in various locations. This could help whenever people take ownership of these gardens and systemically hold potlucks, events, and social interactions to build community.

The other idea is that we focus in one central area and garden there continually to build community there. The advantage in my eyes is the consistency factor. We can congregate at one place, at the same day and time to continually bring more people together. Over time, the surrounding folks should become involved so they can take ownership of the area so the gardening posse can move onto a new location.

Right now, I’m torn between what to do, but I feel like we can try all of the above. If we set one day to do one garden, and another day to do another, the accessibility is easier for people to find a place to go to on a frequent basis at various locations to learn, get involved, meet your neighbors, and have life’s necessities.