Green Committee Meeting Minutes
December 6, 2010
Members Present: Bill Chamberlin, Sue Thompson, Susi Mattheisen, Kathleen Odige, Ruth Stanton, Rebecca Wright, Bill Gorham, Callan Bentley, Jennifer Hitchcock, Ray Bailey, Dave Scheid.
- Call to Order and Approval of Minutes: Ray Bailey called the meeting to order at about 3:05, and the committee approved the minutes for the meeting of May 3, 2010.
- Election of Officers: Ray offered to continue as chair for one more year if no one else wanted the position, but he suggested that someone else take over from him next time. Ray was unanimously voted as the chair again, with Ruth as the Vice Chair, and Jennifer Hitchcock as the Secretary.
- Chair Report: Ray reviewed his attendance at the Coalition of Sustainability Coordinators for the D.C. Metro area. Ray encouraged committee members to review two websites before our next meeting that detail other area colleges’ efforts to promote sustainability, American University’s sustainability program: www.american.edu/finance/sustainability and George Mason’s sustainability website: http://green.gmu.edu/. American University’s program includes some state-of-the-art green advances, including green roofs, community gardens, and other programs. George Mason has gotten a grant from G.E. to fund a GMU sustainability institute, and they have offered that NOVA could partner with GMU on this. Pres. Templin sent a Vice President to attend a meeting with Ray to discuss this, which suggests that Templin sees this as important.
- Old Business: Manassas campus now has a functioning recycling program! Alexandria campus may now be the last one that still doesn’t have one. The committee thanks Les Krough for helping to get the recycling program running.
- New Business: Ruth suggested that we may want to start pushing for a sustainability coordinator position now before future cuts. We can get a position description based on GMU and AU and complete an Employee Work Profile (EWP) form as well to present to HR that would include responsibilities, duties, skill sets, etc. Ray suggested that we may be able to get the information from Lenna Storm, Sustainability Coordinator at GMU. Ray will also talk to VP William Gary, who has previously expressed interest in NOVA identifying one person to serve as its “Green contact” with the community. The committee decided that it would be good to at least get the idea of this position on the radar for next time if not sooner. And, if we cannot get a full-time position, it was suggested that we might be able to get a half time position or an intern for a temporary period before we can get a coordinator—a knowledgeable and experienced recent college grad?
- Announcements: Ruth said they are looking into a new upgrade for copying services for students so they could scan and save files for free rather than printing at cost.
- To do for next time:
- Look at websites from AU and GMU (Ray emailed them to us)
- Think about what we can publicize
- Look into possible speakers for upcoming spring Green Program
- Find out information about sustainability coordinator position
- Ray will look into room availability for committee meetings
Ray thinks there may be a possibility for NOVA to make a sustainability coordinator position in the future, and the Green Committee could advise this person. Grants may also be available to help with this—and to possibly help NOVA make an electric recharge station in the future. The Green Committee can also help publicize what is going on in conjunction with GMU’s Sustainability Institute.
New Buildings at NOVA campuses are required to adhere to LEED standards (set by the state government). The new building on Manassas campus will be LEED silver. Ray had inquired about the possibility of green roofs at NOVA similar to those at American University, but Bill Chamberlin said that green roofs couldn’t be added to existing buildings because of cost and that replacing windows is more of a possibility but can also get expensive quickly and would have to be a capital project.
We discussed the spring Green Program and possible speakers. Callan tried to get Bill McKibben to speak at NOVA, but he was unavailable. Ray looked into Lester Brown’s organization, the Earth Policy Institute. Lester is too expensive, but the organization may send someone else for less. We could maybe just do a panel that includes free speakers and NOVA faculty. Callan volunteered to coordinate the panel. Bill Goram and Jennifer Hitchcock will send him information about possible speakers. The question was raised as to whether we should focus on certain environmental topics or get a range of topics. It was suggested that we hold it around Earth Day with a range of speakers, maybe one per day.
The committee mentioned that NOVA has not signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Statement to commit to coming up with a long-term plan to go carbon neutral. Bill Chamberlin was on a VCCS committee that came up with a report, but it didn’t go anywhere. Bill also mentioned that it would be hard to put an electric car recharging station on NOVA campus because the state cannot legally sell power, but maybe there is a way around this through a third party?
Regarding publicity, what are we doing well on the sustainability front? We should work on publicizing sustainable actions at NOVA—both for Intercom and for outside sources. Continuing Education, energy upgrades, etc. We could come up with a list of things we have done, including NOVA student clubs (Callan, Jennifer F., and Jennifer Hitchcock are faculty advisors). We could also publicize new ENV courses and program.