Trustees won’t let ECU plant $5 ‘go green’ fee

Amanda Curran | PNN Contributor

It looks like East Carolina University isn’t getting greener anytime soon.

That’s because the ECU Board of Trustees rejected the university’s request for a $5 sustainability fee aimed at making ECU greener.

“I think that it was [rejected] due to a lack of information. I don’t think that they were fully informed when making their decision,” said Chad Carwein, the chairman of the Sustainability Committee. “I feel that if I had personally presented it to them, given the opportunity, it would have been approved.”

The board argued that the fee was inadequately conceived and that it would also place an undeserved financial burden on students who were facing increases on several other fees.

Those fees are a new $45 increase in the fee for running campus recreation and wellness fee, and increases in the cost of student housing and dining.

PNN asked Board of Trustees Chair Kieran Shanahan, Vice Chair Vern Davenport and member Max Joyner Jr. for comment, but none of them responded by press time.

“The proposed fee received overwhelming approval in a vote by the General Assembly of the Student Government Association on Nov. 1, and we’re talking about students’ money, so shouldn’t they be the ones deciding how to spend it?” said Carwein.

“We had student support – the students wanted it, but all of that was just unfortunately ignored,” he said.

This newly proposed fee was intended to help support sustainability initiatives on campus. Its goal was to invest in campus infrastructure to help meet the goals of the UNC Sustainability Policy, while also offering education, research and professional development opportunities for students.

Despite the fee’s fate, the Sustainability Committee doesn’t plan on giving up anytime soon.

“We’re going to continue to garner support, keep talking about it with people, and try to pitch it again next year,” said Carwein. “They can only say ‘no’ so many times.”

Curran produced this story for her fall 2017 Media Writing & Reporting class.