SSTF discusses projects for the upcoming year

Admit it, you’ve been reading The Poly for the past three weeks anxiously anticipating an update from the Student Sustainability Task Force. Well, your wait is over. Here we are, back again with our weekly column. Expect us to bring you an article every week about what is going on here on campus or abroad as it relates to sustainability. I can assure you that this will be an exciting year; with plenty of projects set to soon be completed as well as word from the administration that we may soon have a sustainability professional on campus, we have a lot to be inspired by. The SSTF is doing some good work.

For a brief history lesson, I’d like to mention our humble beginnings. The SSTF began in the fall of 2007 as a small group of students lobbying for sustainability in Student Government. We branched off, created our own vision, and joined with staff and administrators to form the 90 or so member group we are today. This would be a good time to acknowledge and thank the 15 or so new students we met at the activities fair that have showed interest in our group or have attended a meeting. The future of our group lies in your hands.

So what’s new? Our current projects are too many to list here, but include a green roof on campus, biodiesel for the campus shuttles, a sustainable dorm for students, more efficient renovation and building of new structures, composting, and a farmers’ market on campus. These are just of a taste of what we are working on now.

Also currently inspiring us are the recent donations we have received. HSBC has donated a significant amount of money to us and is looking to donate again. Private donations have also found their way into our hands. It is very fulfilling to know that our hard work has paid off in the form of capital support for our projects. What we are seeing is hopefully the beginning of a revolving fund for sustainability on campus. We would like this fund to grow to be used as seed money for any sort of sustainability projects on campus. Need more bike racks? Want to get more appliances in your dorm? Apply to the SSTF’s green fund for a grant.

With all this good news you must be wondering if we’ve messed anything up. We all know that President Barack Obama came to Troy this week. Well, the truth is, he was originally meant to visit an SSTF meeting. Unfortunately, we couldn’t plan logistics properly with the Secret Service—he settled on HVCC. Yeah, we messed that one up.

As always, the SSTF meets on Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the Shellnut Gallery, Union Room 3606. There you can find us working hard, because as we all know saving the world never sleeps. Feel free to contact us at sstf@union.rpi.edu.