The Green Fund has succeeded in erecting a bike shelter outside the Dreyfus University Center after years of planning.
The Green Fund itself is a campus organization that aims to improve sustainability and lessen the environmental impact of the university, which was approved through a student referendum in the spring of 2013 with 70 percent approval.
The Fund’s mission is to “encourage and fund projects that positively affect the sustainability of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus community. The fund accomplishes this by investing capital in long-term sustainable projects that affect the way our campus uses energy and our shared natural resources.”
It is funded through a $12 segregated fee that each student pays yearly, meaning they gain 90 to 100 thousand dollars in funding annually. The bike shelter project has been in the works since the beginning, having gone through cycles of rejection and revision by all parties involved.
Getting the building plans approved by the Green Fund board, the campus planner to make sure the aesthetics match, facility services, the Segregated University Fee Allocation Commission and finally the Student Government Association senate is what finally allowed construction to begin.
Many people in Stevens Point, citizens and students alike, ride their bikes. Despite the popularity of this mode of transportation, the university campus still lacks “Bicycle Friendly University” recognition by the League of American Bicyclists.
After applying for the certification last year, UWSP was denied for reasons including a lack of covered areas to park bikes. The shelter outside the Dreyfus University Center will help the campus reach that goal.
Justin Seis, junior sociology major, specialty projects coordinator and Green Fund representative of the Sustainability Office and primary author of the bike shelter proposal, said, “Preserving the longevity of bikes and promoting an alternative form of transportation is very important.”
Despite the cold months typically outnumbering the warm ones in Wisconsin, riding bikes to campus is an ever-popular choice. Leaving those bikes out in the rain or snow without shelter is a way for them to deteriorate faster than if they were protected.
Having Campus Cycle and Sport Shop close, on the corner of Fourth and Isidore street, helps promote biking around campus and the bike shelter helps protect the bikes.
Unfortunately, not many students are aware of the shelter or have noticed it. Of the handful of students asked for their opinions, none of them knew what the bike shelter was.
Robert Abrahamian, environmental and sustainability affairs director of the Student Government Association and chair of the Green Fund, said they are focusing on doing outreach to spread the word.
Anyone is welcome to send in ideas for new projects. The Green Fund’s most recent deadline for project proposals was Nov. 10, but another is coming up in February, and another in April.
So far, three more project proposals will be considered which include LED lighting in the Laird room in the Dreyfus University Center, new labels and standardized waste bins across campus and another proposal for two bike repair stations which would enable students to fix their own bikes with ease at a public work stand.
UWSP’s reputation as a green school will continue to expand as the Green Fund accomplishes projects that focus on promoting sustainability on campus each year.