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Sustainability has long been a point of pride for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus, and student involvement has always been key to the distinction.

With the creation of the new UW Oshkosh “Green Fund,” it will be easier than ever for students to promote environmentally friendly practices and technology.

This fall, the Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) unanimously agreed to approve the fund that uses student money for student led projects. Utilizing a small fee of $6 per student, the Green Fund will generate up to $60,000 per year, funds available for students with green ideas to tap into, provided they have a sound, sustainable idea to develop.

“Students will get an incentive to participate deeply in arguably the most pressing set of issues of our time and try to do something about it,” OSA Sustainability Director Coty Sorby said.

The primary goal of the fund is to empower the student body. All ideas are considered. Proposals can range from building infrastructure on campus to upgrading outdated technology or even developing informative campaigns.

“The Green Fund is meant to empower students with the financial means to use their education and knowledge to be bold and strive to be champions in sustainability,” the initiative’s website states.

To access the funds and start a project, students are first urged to review all the documents found on the Green Fund website. The documents outline the process for submitting a proposal as well as the criteria required for one to be approved.

If students want to get involved, but aren’t sure what type of project to propose, the website also offers ideas from other campuses. Some of the examples range from classroom marker refills to bike repair stations.

The fund is now accepting proposals and interested students are encouraged to contact Sorby through email, phone or in person at the Sustainability Office on the second floor of Oviatt House on campus.

“It is a tool for creating needed change,” Sorby said. “It’s effectiveness will ultimately rest in the imagination and empowerment of students as well as the willingness of our administration to listen to new and potentially radical ideas with an open mind.”

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