Green Committee Meeting Minutes
February 7, 2011
Attendees: Victor Zabielski, Jennifer Hitchcock, Anne Nichols, Ruth Stanton, Susi Mattheisen, Kathleen Odige, Dan Wells, Ray Bailey, Rob Como, Bill Gorham, Callan Bentley, Sam Hill (phone), Jennifer Feller (phone)
Call to Order and Approval of Minutes:
- RayBailey called the meeting to order at about 3:05 and the minutes from Dec.meeting were approved
- SusiMattheisen wrote up a short piece for the Grants Newsletter called GreenCorner that included info. about green grants: the Virginia EnvironmentalEndowment and an upcoming EPA grant. Student Green Clubs could apply for these grants—Susie’s office hasoffered to help student groups access these funds, and the applicationoften doesn’t require a lot of work.
- Allcampuses have an active student Green Club except Alexandria, and Loudonis trying to start one. Clubs canget in touch with each other to get ideas and possibly collaborate onprojects.
- Briefreview of the AU and GMU sustainability program websites. AU has a Green Eagles work study programin which students bring green issues to the student body. Student Green Clubs can help assure thatNOVA students are aware of environmental issues.
- NationalWildlife Federation has an upcoming workshop on Feb. 16th abouttraining for green jobs; Jim Fabian may attend and present on NOVAworkforce programs; and Jennifer Feller also plans to attend. What might information about NOVA’sgreen activities might we want to pass along at this conference?
- NOVA will be offering weatherization and energy efficiency courses.
- Jennifer Feller knows of a faculty member who has land and wants to offer that NOVA students can build an energy efficient home on the property.
Possible Future New Green Programs at NOVA:
Food Service Initiatives:
- Can westart a program to help promote the use of our used cooking oil at NOVAfor biodiesel? It costs money tohave someone haul it away, so maybe we can find someone to take it forbiodiesel.
- Thefood service contracts are up for renewal this summer (college-wide forall campuses), so maybe we can push for consideration of environmentalissues when choosing vendors. EdMellon in the Purchasing Dept. will be in charge of that. And what about local food sources?
- We should at least push to get some language in the new contracts to encourage green practices, including composting, because many other regional schools do this, including AU and GMU. We can pitch it as an economic consideration, especially with the cooking oil issue.
Sustainability Coordinator Position:
- *Allof these potential programs and initiatives would be easier to implementwith a sustainability coordinator position. We need to articulate the payback andbenefit of a sustainability coordinator to the college. Because we are a commuter school, ourcarbon footprint is enormous, so we almost have to work harder to decreasethe energy consumption of our campuses and student body.
- AASIA’swebsite indicates that a sustainability coordinator could be hired at thesalary level of an assistant professor. You have to get a position description and then also make a case tosell the position—based on the ways that NOVA will benefit (how it willmake us an exemplary institution, etc.), or how will have lost access tosomething because we are lacking a position (ie: lost federal grantfunding for green initiatives)
- TheSTARS system is a system for rating colleges on a green scale that canattract faculty and students who are interested in environmental issues. If we don’t get rated well once itbecomes more widespread, then it could hurt us.
- Otherfour-year universities have many green programs, so we need to prepare ourstudents for this. It is inevitablethat we will eventually get one, so why not now?
- Whoare the key people to get on board with this position? Provosts?
- Timeline for action:
- Contact Templin about joining SEED first (immediately)(*see description of SEED below); write a letter. Create an agreed upon statement to send to the president and request a meeting with the Pres. and Sam and Ray to discuss this.
*Letter (re: joining SEED):
- So many other community colleges are involved, so we need to be also
- If we don’t join onto this, that we risk falling behind other schools
- SEED is rich in resources, so we can benefit from this
- Special mention should be made of GMU and their degree programs and initiatives (including sustainability coordinator?)
- Sam will get Ray some info. about a contact who can give us some advice about building a proposal for this position
- We can mention the sustainability coordinator position in the SEED meeting to feel the Pres. out, but then the next step will be to push for this position
- Find out how many of our major peers have sustainability coordinator position.
- Sam suggests using the SEED organization as a resource because they have members who have probably gone this route. Maybe we could try to get some advice from them so we can build a case and proposal to ask for a 2-3 year restricted sustainability coordinator position with certain deliverables, and then when those deliverables are met, it may become a permanent position if the college is then convinced.
- SEED is affiliated with the AACC (American Association of Community Colleges). SEED = Sustainability Education and Economic Development. Provides resources to help community colleges build programs to train people for a green workforce. NOVA Woodbridge is now a member, but we need NOVA as a college to be a member. Templin needs to sign a letter asking to join, which will give us access to these resources. Virginia Highlands, TCC, J. Sarge, and Blue Ridge are all members.
- **Sam could arrange for a conference call with some of our members and the current chair of SEED.
- We can also try to sell a sustainability coordinator position by pointing out that the AACC is part of SEED—and argue that we should join SEED too. Almost all of our peers are members of SEED. We need to get Pres. Templin’s attention about joining SEED, and then tie it to the position too.
- The SEED site may have some resources that may also help us build a case for a sustainability coordinator
- When discussing joining seed with the Pres. we might also find out what he wants to see in order to approve a coordinator position
Earth Day Panel of Speakers:
- JenniferHitchcock sent Callan some info. about possible speakers from GMU, AU,etc.
- IslandPress has some good environmental authors that may come and speak for free
- ElizabethColbert (from New Yorker) has a new book coming out and may be willing tospeak
- Problemis finding speakers who are willing to speak for free
- Weshould be careful not to have our speakers conflict with other campuses’activities so it doesn’t compete
Green Issues for Intercom:
- Theywant all stories to be tied directly to NOVA faculty or students, so wecan come up with some things that relate to green issues: such ashighlighting features of new construction projects
- CollegeSenate is preparing a resolution to get the college to enforce the non-smokingpolicies near entrances of buildings
- Becausethis relates to the air quality issue, should the Green Committee send aletter to the College Senate thanking them for taking up this issue andencouraging their efforts? Ray willdraft something
New Construction at NOVA: (updates from Dan)
- Rightnow NOVA is undergoing very major construction projects (Annandale,Manassas, and Loudoun)
- Annandale will have basic LEED certification
- Manassas will be LEED Silver
- Loudoun’s additions won’t be LEED, but the new building is on target to be LEED Silver certified
- Allnewer projects will have to be at least LEED Silver because of the newstate requirement
- Woodbridgeis trying to get a geothermal system with future construction and a newworkforce development building
- Braultwill be expanded and renovated at some point; it is still in the designstage
- Loudounis trying to get a new higher education program
Volunteer Fair at Woodbridge on Feb. 16th
- If weknow of other groups involved in environmental issues or conservation thatmay want to participate, email contact info. to Jennifer Feller
Monday March 14th; then April 11th, then May 2nd
- Craft a letter from the committee to Pres. Templin to invite him to meet with Sam and with Ray or another Green Committee member to discuss joining SEED (and to feel him out for sustainability coordinator position); Ray, Rob, and Jennifer will craft a draft
- Begin working to find out info. that will help us build a case for a sustainability coordinator position (partly by asking Templin what he wants to see in order to consider it)
- Continue looking for possible speakers for Earth Day