One per cent campaign now asking for student input

Public consultation will be the first step towards success for a new student initiative that is scheduled to start this semester at Concordia.
Voted by students in March 2007, the 1% campaign will take 25 cents per credit from each student’s tuition. The funds raised will be attributed to campus projects that will help make Concordia University more environmentally friendly.
The first public consultation is scheduled for Sept. 20 and will be held every four months so that the Concordia population can be active in developing ideas. The consultations will be used as a medium through which the 1% campaign committee can generate and give life to student ideas.
With around 42,000 students at Concordia, the campaign is expected to raise approximately $180,000 this year. The pilot project will run on a five-year trial term and if successful, will become permanent.
The issues that deal with the campaign, including funds, will be monitored by a board consisting of members from the Concordia community, with the majority of the members being student representatives.
Chantal Beaudoin, the Environ mental Coordinator for Concordia and also a board member for the campaign, said that student input is greatly welcomed.
“I think our five year plan will really enable us to create some successful projects and students will hopefully want to continue,” said Beaudoin. “Public consultations will give students a chance to be exposed to the campaign’s projects and vote on them, which will help the board to decide which projects to go ahead with,” she said.
Although the projects for this campaign have yet to be decided, there are some that are under review. According to Peter Schiefke, the co-creator of the 1% campaign, the elimination of all plastic bags and carton cups and the switch to reusable products, like mugs, are some of the proposed projects.
Also, the proposal to make it mandatory that all class essays and assignments be submitted on double-sided paper is another idea under consideration by the board.
Schiefke, alongside co-founder Mohamed Shuriye, wanted to start an initiative where students are active in decision-making and ideas .They decided to launch the campaign during the Youth Summit Conference last spring with guest speaker David Suzuki.
“We decided to launch the 1% campaign at the conference so it would have a purpose. This campaign has students saying: ‘Ok, we’re ready to put our money where our mouth is’,”said Schiefke.
Concordia is one of the leading universities in Canada when it comes to green issues, with environmental groups like R4 and Sustainable Concordia working on making Concordia greener. With the 1% campaign, Schiefke hopes that Concordia will help pave the way for other universities.
“Our goal is to show [other universities] that you can manage money for green issues and it’s something that we need to do,”said Schiefke.
In March 2008, a Canadian tour with the David Suzuki foundation will travel to all major universities in hopes of spreading the 1% campaign idea and other green issues to other schools.
For more information on the 1% campaign, a public consultation will be held Sept. 20. Details on the time and location will be decided shortly.
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