Revolving Fund Turns McDaniel’s Environmental Initiatives Around

Photo by Katie Hughes.Photo by Katie Hughes.

The Green (Terror) Revolving Fund Commitee (GTRF) is a new organization at McDaniel that is reaching out to students, staff, and the community to improve the campus in a number of a different ways, including using less energy, promoting sustainability, and educating community members and campus residents about the importance of conserving valuable resources to create project proposals to apply to have them approved for implementation on campus in the Spring.

The Jessie Ball DuPont Fund has given McDaniel College a $100,000 grant to promote their energy efforts on campus and to cut down on overall costs. The Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation is a national foundation that gives grants to hundreds of organizations, colleges, and universities to promote energy conservation on these campuses.

The main goals of this fund are, as listed on the main site, “[To] reduce energy use on campus, [to] reduce the carbon footprint of the college, [to] increase opportunities for student learning and leadership, [to] increase awareness, [to] highlight importance of sustainability, and [to] maintain and grow the revolving fund.”

The goal of the GTRF committee is to create a fund that could result in a number of new installations and benefits for the college and community. It is a diverse committee with students, professors and other staff members who are wide open to many ideas that students and staff have to offer. Committee members have worked collaboratively to create a website that is easily navigable and clear with its directions, goals, application process, and what the college will do after it receives applications for projects.

Dr. Jason Scullion, a member of the committee, is also a professor of Environmental Studies at McDaniel and plays a crucial part in promoting McDaniel’s green efforts. Dr. Scullion states that, “People should understand that we are trying to make the campus more sustainable, and we have a great opportunity where we were gifted $100,000 to create a fund that would continually grow and allow projects to go on, long after all of us are here.”

Some changes or project ideas that the committee had in mind, according to Dr. Sculllion, are things to promote education and also present a more energy efficient, environmentally friendly campus. These ideas include the installation of solar panels, outdoor efficient plugs, motion-sensored lights, and many other potential projects that utilize students and staff to reach the goal.

Vice-President of Administration and Finance Tom Phizacklea, another member of the committee, says, “We’ve done quite a few big projects over the last 15 months or so, like changing out hundreds of toilets and shower heads, thousands of lights, etc. I’m really interested in hearing from those who ‘live’ here. They see things many of who work here have not.”

He also mentions, “We are looking for projects that have a return on investments of less than 7 years.” This will in turn bring money back to campus, and with student engagement and participation, many improvements can be made. Phizacklea continues to state, “I don’t want anyone to think their idea is bad or ridiculous.” The members of the committee show great interest and hope in those who are a part of our community, and are eager to start implementations. It will help the environment, unity as a community, and student body, and will be economically successful for all parties involved.

Tabitha Schade, one of the members of the GTRF, is eager for the projects to start, commenting, “I am excited to see what McDaniel students want to do with this money and can’t wait to see the proposals start pouring in!” The College has been given an amazing opportunity that no one should hesitate to take advantage of. The fund will bring success for all of parties involved.

The committee will host an information session on Tuesday, September 27th, from 6-6:45PM in Hill Hall 104. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to share the information and the fund itself.