Senate discusses sustainability staff position

Jan. 30, 2009

By Morgan Hoffman, Lariat Reporter

The Baylor Sustainability Committee comprises 20 volunteer members and part-time staff who work to create an ecologically friendly campus.

The College Sustainability Report currently has Baylor ranked eighth in the Big 12, with an overall grade of C-.

Houston sophomore and student finance member Michael Wright said Baylor can no longer rely on a volunteer committee to head campus sustainability efforts.

"I feel like we've met the threshold of the committee as what they can do as volunteers. We have a gentleman who is responsible for sustainability initiatives, but he does have three or four other different chapters he is responsible for," Wright said.

Wright proposed that a sustainability coordinator support resolution be passed, which would recommend to Baylor administration that a full-time staff member be hired to head sustainability efforts.

"The volunteer committee would continue under the direction of the full-time staff member. The individual would focus solely on sustainability," said Garland senior and Student Body President Bryan Fonville.

Richardson senior Andy Beall, Student Senate committee affairs chair, added it is important to let the administration know that the student body supports campus sustainability.

"What this bill is aiming to do is to show Baylor that the student body is behind doing something to improve awareness. This bill is saying we understand sustainability is a problem on campus and this is how we propose you fix it," Beall said.

Student Senate voted 19-12 in favor of recommending a sustainability coordinator be hired full time by administration for next semester. Wright estimated similar positions at Big 12 universities cost as much as $75,000 annually.