Green Fund opens grant program to sponsor sustainable campus projects

SJU Green Fund, St. Joe’s club dedicated to increasing sustainability on campus, is accepting applications for its grant program to sponsor sustainable projects to be implemented on campus.

“We had a big push to resuscitate the grant program this year,” said Nick Sanders ’24, secretary of Green Fund. “We try to promote sustainability on campus and also try to grow the club.”

Although the Green Fund has already sponsored sustainable projects, the possibility of obtaining a grant from the Green Fund has not been formalized. To generate more attention, the grant program was organized differently this year, according to Green Fund faculty advisor Clint J. Springer, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, director of the Institute for Environmental Stewardship and director of the Barnes Arboretum.

“I want to make sure he gets the use he deserves and that’s why management and I came up with this this year,” Springer said.

The grant program is open to any member of the St. Joe’s community. Students, faculty and staff can apply individually or jointly.

Inviting groups to submit grants allows the community to have a voice and interest in green initiatives on campus, said Clare Joyce ’25, chair of fundraising for the Green Fund.

“The Green Fund’s mission gives students and staff on campus the opportunity to have a say in the sustainability projects in which we invest the money,” said Joyce.

Currently, applicants can request up to $5,000 for their proposed projects. This amount may change depending on fundraising for the grant and the number of proposals submitted during the application process. The number of applications that will receive grants has not yet been confirmed.

Grants will be selected based on the decision of a committee consisting of the President of the Green Fund, the Vice-Presidents, a student who is not part of the Green Fund, members of the University’s Student Senate and Springer.

“I really hope we see some creative ideas,” Springer said. “There are obviously limits to what we can accomplish in the time and budget we have, but this should hopefully generate some creativity, ingenuity and problem solving for us. “

If their proposal is funded, the applicant will have until May 2023 to develop their project and use their grant. While the applicant will be in charge of their project, Green Fund is here to help, said Julianna Colontonio ’23, president of Green Fund.

“We’re not going to be the main drivers of it,” Colontonio said. “If they need help, we will be there.”

In the past, Green Fund has primarily championed and funded sustainable projects around campus, including the installation of solar panels on the roof of Hagan Arena in 2021. Since the pandemic began, Green Fund has hosted smaller events such as their recent clothing drive and tote bag sale on September 22 and vegan bake sale with SJBrew on October 19 at the Campion Student Center.

“If we don’t start acting now, we simply won’t have a planet to live on sustainably by the time it arrives to our children,” Colontonio said.

Campus sustainability projects are not just for current students and staff, but also aim to make campus a better place for future students who may be considering coming to St. Joe’s, Sanders said.

“You have incoming students,” Sanders said. “They want to know, ‘What are we doing to fight climate change?’ And as a Jesuit institution, I feel we have an obligation to support the care and creation of the world.

While the goal of the grant program is to encourage involvement of the St. Joe’s community in creating more sustainable campuses, Green Fund also hopes to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability every day and everywhere, Miranda said. Oseguera ’24, co-vice-president of the Green Fund.

“By making our campus more sustainable, we are able to raise awareness of the environmental issues that arise, as well as teach others how they can live more sustainably,” Oseguera said.

Everyone is welcome to apply for the grant, and the Green Fund is excited to see ideas from the community, Oseguera said.

“We’re really excited to hear about what the St. Joe’s community has to offer in terms of ideas,” Oseguera said. “We really encourage everyone, even if they have an event they want to organize or if they have some kind of infrastructure they want to add to the campus, or if they just have an idea of ​​how to make our campus more sustainable, we strongly encourage it.

The link to apply for a Green Fund grant can be found on their social media, @sjugreenfund. Grant applications are due Thanksgiving week, and applicants will find out if they have been accepted in January 2023.

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