“Green fee” offers students opportunity to promote, take part in sustainable activities
By Laura Fenton
The University of Memphis is getting “greener” each year. Students, faculty and staff
are the ones making it happen.
Each semester, students pay a $10 Sustainable Campus Fee that goes toward initiatives
across campus. (The fee is prorated for part-time students.)
Commonly known as the Green Fee, the money provides U of M students with opportunities
to be more environmentally friendly while on campus.
“This is your money,” said sustainability coordinator Amelia Mayahi in referring to
how the fee benefits students. “This is an opportunity for you to be involved with
and learn about sustainability initiatives, projects and issues.”
The fee also assists other areas of campus become more “green,” such as Police Services,
which has purchased a Rhoades car, Sports Ped edition (http://www.rhoadescar.com/sport-ped.html) that will assist Tiger Escort (formerly Tiger Patrol) transport students needing
escorts. It is described as a four-wheel bike.
The Rhoades Car, described as a four-wheel bike, will ferry students who ask for escorts
late at night across campus.
“We already have four hybrid patrol vehicles with three more on the way,” said Derek
Myers, deputy director of Public Safety. “We are already using about 30 percent less
gas because of the hybrids.”
Projects for each year are selected from a pool of proposals created by faculty, staff
and students. Projects for 2012-13 draw from $473,000 allocated from the fee.
Few submissions are from students. Mayahi thinks students may be missing a chance
to work with faculty or staff in a professional setting.
“Any student who has an entrepreneur quality and wants to see something “green” happen
on campus, this is an outlet to make that happen and build their resume and experiences,
too,” Mayahi said.
The Sustainable Campus Fee Committee, made of faculty, administrators and students,
determine the funded projects. President Shirley C. Raines also approves all programs
prior to implementation.
“It’s refreshing to see how many people care about sustainability and translate that
into some action they want to do,” said Stephen Petersen, associate vice president
for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and chair of the Sustainable Campus Fee Committee.
For more information on the Green Fee, contact the Office of the Associate Vice President
for Student Affairs/Dean of Students at 678-2188 or visit http://www.memphis.edu/bluegoesgreen.
Projects funded by the 2012-13 Green Fee include:
- Green internships – Undergraduate internships involving campus or community partners
to enhance the student’s understanding of sustainability and to assist in the organization’s
efforts to promote sustainability.
- Tiger Blue Goes Green 2012 – The event, hosted on Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
the Student Plaza, is open to all students, faculty and staff. It is designed to promote
- TIGUrS Garden – An urban garden that demonstrates environmental and economic sustainability.
All foods grown in the gardens are free to the U of M community.
- Campus Sustainability Initiative – Promotes living a sustainable lifestyle with ease
through campus recycling and conservation techniques.
- Green Space and pavilion – An area on the northeast corner of the Administration Building
will be turned into a green space with a pavilion and pergola.
- Rhoades Car – Four-wheel bike that drives like a car will be used by Police Services.
More details available at http://www.rhoadescar.com.
- Master Plan consulting for Information Services - Analysis of the existing technology
environment and the development of the U of M master plan for campus.
- Chemical Recycling Project - Establish a solvent recovery/recycle program to minimize
the amount of hazardous waste generated within the Department of Chemistry.
- Tiger Bikes Program – Campus bicycle share program for students.
- Green Campus Network Program – Student leadership program in energy efficiency to
deploy energy efficiency solutions on campus.
- Hybrid SUV – Accelerating the switch from gas fleet, to a fleet that is sustainable
for Police Services vehicle.