This is the sixth part of a series looking at the platforms of each candidate in the Missouri Students Association presidential election. This article focuses on each slate's position on sustainability.
MSA presidential candidates Xavier Billingsley and Helena Kooi are hoping to work with school officials to advertise the MU Office of Sustainability and encourage on-campus bike rental.
"What we really want to do is promote our bike efficiency program here on campus," Billingsley said. "The sustainability office is great because students can go on certain days of the week and turn their bike in to get fixed for free."
Billingsley said he wants to work to help out students who are unable to park their bikes in front of dining halls, residence hall areas and the MU Student Center.
"It's no secret that we need more bike racks on campus," Billingsley said. "When you have more students on campus, obviously you're going to have more bikes on campus, and then you're going to need more bike racks."
Billingsley said he also wants to show students the positive impact of trayless dining and the amount MU is saving by removing the trays from dining halls.
According to the Green Report Card website, MU currently has a B, with the lowest grades in the categories of investment properties and shareholder agreements.
"I think promoting the sustainability office and what's really going on is very important," Billingsley said.
The slate of Everett Bruer and Lexie Cartee hopes to make MU a little greener by organizing a Sustainability Week, raising MU's Green Report Card score and lobbying Jefferson City for more sustainable legislation.
The Sustainability Week would gather all of MU's sustainability groups and put on several events.
"What we'd do is bring in different sustainability groups on campus here," Bruer said. "Just off the top of my head, Greeks Going Green, Sustain Mizzou, bring them together (and) sort of implement different events (about) sustainability efforts, recycling here on campus."
Bruer said the Residence Halls Association has a week dedicated to sustainability, but he wants the Missouri Students Association to have one as well.
"As far as MSA goes, we don't have anything," he said.
GreenReportCard.org grades universities on their sustainability. The website grades schools on several factors and averages those to produce a letter grade.
"Currently, Mizzou is at a B,"Cartee said. "All of our student organizations are doing extremely well, but what we're lacking on is shareholder and alumni investment."
Bruer said the shareholder and alumni investment category encompasses how MU invests contributions from alumni. The categories are MU's lowest ranked.
"So, the point of the sustainability week would just be to show a united front to get more support in that area from them," Cartee said. "That way we could be more sustainable and have a better grade."
Bruer said he is also interested in passing sustainability legislation in Jefferson City.
"One way we can accomplish this is to engage our (Associated Students of the University of Missouri) student lobbyists," he said. "Talk to them and see if we can get people in Jefferson City to do some more legislation concerning any sort of sustainability efforts here at MU."
During last year's election, sustainability was a big part of each slate's platform. It is still a major part of the MSA election for Greg Loeffler and Lauren Damico.
MU is already one of the leaders in sustainability, but there is still much to be done to get to MU's goal of zero emissions by 2050, Loeffler said.
"Sustainability is one of those things where you can never be perfect," Loeffler said. "(Zero emissions by 2050) is not something that happens overnight. It's not something that's going to take the effort of one student or one student body president."
As MSA Director of Student Services, Loeffler oversees the MSA Sustainability Committee.
Part of the sustainability effort is to make it as easy as possible for students to recycle, Loeffler said.
"People don't want to be sustainable if it's not convenient for them," he said. "That's the sad truth, but it is. We just want to make sure there are recycling bins in every convenient place."
Loeffler and Damico said they want to encourage communication between other student organizations and the student body itself on sustainability issues.
"We need to be willing to work with the Sustain Mizzou effort," Damico said.
Loeffler said he spoke with Sustain Mizzou and found the group full of information and knowledge on sustainability issues, especially in relation to MU.
"We want to make sure their voice is carried out into the student body," he said. "We are the voice of the students."