It's been a long road for the students who are in favor of the Florida Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF)
. The fee, a proposed $0.50-0.75 per credit hour charge assessed on Florida college students, would be used to fund "campus energy efficiency and renewable energy projects" on campuses.
The greatest thing about the fee? It's a student-led initiative.
Yet, because the proposal is a fee, individual public campuses cannot enact it until it has been approved by the State's Board of Governors. Thus student organizers at key state universities have had to engage their fellow students to create surveys, administer polls and educate the student body on the proposal. Winning support is not so easy when you are asking to increase the fees many students already feel are too high.
On Facebook, the group "I Support the USF Green Energy Fund
" has been keeping its members up to date on how to get involved with the campaign. The group also gives updates on important time factors, such as when students can vote in Student Government Elections on the issue, and when the meetings with the Board of Trustees are.
On the other side, there is the "I DO NOT support the USF Green Fee
" Facebook group which discusses fears of mishandling the fees and worries the proposed fee is too small to make any real impact.
Despite the clash in interests, the Student Green Energy Fund passed its October referendum at USF by 69 percent. Because of this, USF's official state stance is pro-SGEF and now joins other major statue universities as pro-campuses.
The next step? Convincing USF's Board of Trustees to be pro-SGEF. With their help, and the help of the other major universities, SGEF is well on its way to getting to Tallahassee and the Board of Governors, and one step closer to getting approved.