Braden Smith – Culture editor. Linfield’s sustainability mission took a large step forward with the Sustainability Symposium, hosted by the Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability on Oct. 22.
The symposium addressed the grant portion of the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund. Students directly created the fund last semester by voting for a $10 increase in student body fees.
More than half of the fund ($19,000) is now being offered to Linfield community members in the form of grants for campus sustainability projects. The symposium was held in order to inform people of how to apply for grants and to encourage attendants to explore ways to use the money.
Senior Duncan Reid, who wrote the original referendum for the fund, said the basic goal of the symposium was to educate the public about the fund.
The symposium explained the history of the fund, as well as sustainability efforts at Linfield, and emphasized the increasing dedication to sustainability Linfield has shown during the years. A group discussion was held in which students shared ideas for possible projects. Many students inquired about what kinds of projects were eligible for funding. Although attendance at the symposium was relatively low, many ideas were discussed.
“I think it’s really cool that students have the ability to do something like this,” freshman Katherine Takaoka said after the symposium ended.
The symposium concluded with instructions for the application process, which opened Oct. 22.
The grant application, which is six pages long, explains guidelines for projects and lists evaluation criteria for the awards. According to the criteria, applicants must connect the project’s outcome with Linfield’s sustainability mission, clearly demonstrate feasibility of project completion within the designated timeline, exhibit an understanding of the resources and processes involved with the project and show a level of commitment to carrying out the project.
In addition to submitting the application, applicants must also give a brief project presentation for the ACES committee upon completion. A two-thirds majority vote among ACES members is necessary to obtain grant funding.
Reid said he would encourage students who are hesitant about applying for grants to go for it.
However, he also stressed the importance of having a concrete plan for ideas and noted that students should look through the grant carefully before deciding to apply.
“The most successful projects will come out of groups of students,” Reid said.
People may also apply for mini-grants, consisting of $500 or fewer throughout the academic year, as well. Applications are available online at www.linfield.edu/sustainability and can also be picked up at the President’s Office in Melrose Hall. Hard copies should be turned in to the President’s Office but can be submited online to John Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. They are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 15.
ACES will review applications and award grants before Dec. 15.