Conservation Council Minutes

Date: 
September 28, 2009

Conservation Council

Meeting Agenda

Monday 9/28 12-1 Memorial Hall Conference Room

 

Attending: Ben Dixon, Brad Baldwin, Catherine Boulatoff, Louise Gava, Rick Scott, Ryan Gillard, Alle Wingerter, Chloe Whalen, Amanda Lavigne

 

12:00   -           Discuss CC/WG split. 

                        How can we make this relationship work?

                        Revising the CC charge.  Ideas for action?  Set our agenda?

 

Note: Add Alex Showerman to the email list

Minutes from CC and WG will be inter-shared.

Amanda:  After taking with Mike Temkin/Faculty Council, the Climate Neutrality Working Group has been reconvened with the approval of FC.  Although CC is the "parent" organization to which the WG has been attached, it does not mean 100% overlap is required, meaning that members of CC do not also have to be members of the WG, but are welcome to join and work on the CAP if they so desire.  It has been suggested, due to the differences in charges, that CC will be the "action" arm, and the WG will be the "planning" arm of CAP related initiatives.

Amanda:  My thoughts are that we as CC should discuss our charge and the goals as seen by this year' current members, and that we should not just "wait" for direction from the WG/CAP, but should establish an agenda for the year and integrate support of the CAP into the working of CC - that CC should have a more broad focus than just Cap related projects/initiatives.

Louise:  In the past, CC has been more of an umbrella organization. What happens after Climate Neutrality Plan is submitted? Does this mean our (CC) charge would get changed in January?  WG charge suggests that group will disband after submission of plan.  Probably need to take any changes in charge to Faculty Council.

Amanda: The timing is right, because FC has asked all committees to reevaluate their charges - should we make things broader?

Brad: In the past CC has taken a broader approach, and not every project has been so obviously related to energy conservation.

Louise:  As Eric mentioned last time, the CC charge was rewritten a while ago, but never submitted because the status of the existence of CC was tenuous at the time.

Catherine: How successful has CC been in completing projects in the past?  How many things can get done in one semester? What are some of the low hanging fruit projects from the CAP that have been identified?

Rick: Well, it depends on the project, but thing tend to move rather slow if it has to go through all of the university channels and be vetted, but sometimes, things can get done quickly if they are small and specifically defined.

Louise:  I distributed info from the transportation survey done last year, and there are some definite opportunities defined by the results that we could tackle.

Brad:  What do the students think?  What would you like to see happen in CC this year?

Ryan: I think there are definitely some students interested in some very specific projects - many who approach me every day and ask about trying this or that.  I think the smaller, short-term projects have more relevance to students, and would like to see those happen.

Catherine:  Ryan, what are the projects you've been hearing about?

Ryan:  Composting, recycling, green bikes, environmental justice/work on the Akwasasne Reservation, student garden, dorm room drying racks

Louise: The thrift store is an ongoing project that has some funding associated with it but needs help.

Alle: Zip cars are gaining interest - basically a car rental through campus,

Amanda:  Is there a way we can collect ideas from certain student groups who are established, self-organized and who could benefit from help from CC and have enough traction to follow through on the project - perhaps on the Green Pages, so that past ideas would not be lost, and we could find a way to prioritize and carry projects over semester to semester?

Ryan:  Yes, I could talk to Eric about that.

The idea was put forth that CC could approach things from both sides - identify a bigger initiative, associated with the CAP that would involve more "behind the scenes" work and focus on writing/reviewing policy suggestions, CAP work plans, etc., as well as focusing on some smaller "do-able" projects identified by students/student groups and brought to CC for help in planning, organizing, logistics, administrative details, etc. The role of CC would also be to identify areas of need in terms of environmental response and bring those areas to the attention of the University, as well as to move those efforts and the efforts of environmentally based student groups through bureaucratic channels.

Amanda: So, should CC rewrite its charge to have a broader focus, while pushing for the WG to become a permanent group to more directly deal with the CAP?  Or should we not rock the boat, and continue as usual, with a narrow charge, but with a broad interpretation?

Louise:  We need to understand whether the CNWG is going to go away after January, or not, and whether CC will be left holding a huge amount of responsibility In terms of the CAP before we change our charge too much.

Amanda:  I will try and get some resolution -we can bring this to the WG, and possibly back to FC to get a better understanding of whether or not we can justify a new charge, or whether we will be further limited by pressure put on by the CAP.

Amanda:  We are almost out of time, but I had wanted everyone to think about Climate Day activities for October 24th.  Info about it will be emailed.

1:00     -           Adjourn