MSA candidates share ideas for greener MU
Ideas for initiatives include working with Campus Dining Services to provide more local food.
Oct. 29, 2010
This is the fifth part in a series looking at the Missouri Students Association presidential slates and their platform positions. This article focuses on the candidates' positions on sustainability issues.
Eric Woods and Emily Moon are focusing the sustainability aspect of their platform on dining. Woods said they would like to pursue a number of policies to further the sustainability profile of MU.
“The MSA President and Vice President should be leaders FOR students rather than leaders OF students,” Woods said in an e-mail. “We've spoken at length with leaders of Sustain Mizzou to gain insight into what sustainability leaders on campus think needs to be done.”
The slate’s goal is to work with Campus Dining Services to add more local food options to the dining halls.
“This will help sustain the local community and build lasting ties between Columbia and Mizzou,” Woods said.
To decrease the waste in the dining halls, Woods said he would like to work with CDS and all other necessary parties to make a rule to establish composting in the dining halls.
Woods said he would also like to focus on making recycling easier and providing incentives for students to use their own coffee mugs at the different coffee shops on campus.
“We want to demonstrate that you don't have to implement large-scale, controversial projects to make a difference,” Woods said.
Woods said sustainability is an area of policy everyone claims their commitment to, but few ever take real action on. “The students need tough advocates to get these things done,” Woods said. “We are those advocates.”
Josh Travis and Michelle Horan plan to push the university toward trayless dining.
According to the platform, Travis and Horan will work to have students realize the rate at which waste and water use can be reduced by implementing trayless dining.
“Last year RHA (the Residence Halls Association) conducted a flawed survey regarding trayless dining,” Travis said. “There were students in MSA who did not receive the e-mail to vote or had the ability to vote twice.”
Regardless of survey outcome, Travis and Horan plan to push trayless within the dining halls.
“Trayless dining saves over 14 thousand gallons of water,” Travis said. “Saving water will create an avenue where we can free up CDS funding.”
The money CDS would save by the reduction in water use would go toward making local food purchases as well as composting efforts, Travis said.
Travis and Horan also plan to work with interested groups to help MU reach an A grade on the college sustainability report card.
“Mizzou has received a C in some areas on the report card,” Travis said. “We will make sure we are in position to receive an A on the report card by 2013.”
Ben Hansen and Kaitlin Oxenreider plan to improve campus sustainability by decreasing the amount of energy used in MU buildings, improving recycling efforts and conserving paper in libraries and computer labs.
According to Oxenreider, the slate is looking into expanding Mizzou Dashboard, which gives information about energy usage in real time, to MU’s largest energy consuming buildings.
“The system is designed to educate students about energy usage and conservation and to empower students to reduce their own energy usage over time,” Oxenreider said. “Expanding this program to more buildings on campus would help educate more students about their energy consumption, ultimately conserving energy.”
Oxenreider said she and Hansen will make duplex printing an option in MU libraries and computer labs. Duplex printing allows printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. They also want to give students the option to print on recycled paper.
“We are working to get this as a default setting on printers so students can print documents on half of the amount of paper,” Oxenreider said. “Students would have a choice on whether or not to use it, though.
Hansen and Oxenreider also plan to extend the recycling program to Greektown and to make recycling bins more easily recognizable, Oxenreider said.
“Ben and I are working to unify the look of recycling containers on campus,” Oxenreider said. “We would like to collaborate with Sustain Mizzou and the Sustainability office to build on ideas.”