Senate Votes Down $46K Project
However, many in Senate questioned the proposal because the energy monitoring system would cost $46,000. The estimated energy savings from the system would be $10,000 per year, which would be placed in a fund administered by the Idea Fund, Facilities and Senate to promote sustainability related projects around campus. On April 24 the coalition came before Senate again, asking the body to reconsider their proposal. Both supporters and opponents engaged in a healthy discussion for over an hour.
Senior Class President Teddy Wilhite ’12 addressed a primary concern when he asked why the Senate had to spend all $46,000 and could not instead install the system in a few dorms and see how this affected the students there. Silverman replied that this would require favoring some dorms over others and that this was an attempt to change campus culture as a whole. Phil Hubert ’12 also expressed his concerns that Facilities was only providing $10,000 for the installation (in addition to the Idea Fund’s $5,000) meaning Senate was required to pay the bulk for something “Senate should not be responsible for paying for.”
Almost universally people favored the installation of the system but disagreed with the proper role of Senate in buying the system. They did like that Senate was spending the majority of the Sinking Fund without testing the system beforehand or help from other departments. Ultimately Senate voted not to install the monitoring system.
Hubert added, “Many other senators and I really hope this project goes forward and succeeds in the future but Senate was not prepared financially to do this, this late in the year.”