Looking to make more green to save more green, Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) is looking toward increasing the group’s lock-in fee during the upcoming campuswide elections.
EAB is asking for a $0.75 per undergraduate per quarter increase to its current lock-in fee. The group currently receives $0.25 per quarter from each undergraduate. Alisha Dahlstrom, EAB co-chair, said the money would help the organization preserve and expand its various programs such as the Education for Sustainable Living Program, which organizes group projects and student-initiated classes. It will also counter the effects of inflation and a proposed plan from the UC Office of the President to take 25 percent of all student lock-in fees and put the money into financial aid programs, she said.
“Currently, we’re able to manage what we’re doing, but we’re not able to expand,” Dahlstrom said. “We need continued money flow to keep things going.”
In order for the measure to pass, two-thirds of undergraduates must approve of the lock-in in the upcoming elections.
Dahlstrom said all students would benefit from EAB’s increased activity, despite the lock-in fee cost increase.
“I’m a student. … Tuition is already high enough, but a lot of the lock-in money goes into saving students money,” she said.
Students would benefit via a trickle-down effect, Dahlstrom said, arguing that if the university can save money on energy costs by constructing “green” buildings – which use recycled materials and are energy efficient – students will pay less in fees to keep those buildings running.
“We’re more than just tree-huggers – we’re economically minded,” she said.
EAB is the most active Associated Students group, Dahlstrom said, with 600 members on its listserve, about 60 regular meeting attendees and on average maintains 100 volunteers in multiple projects.
The organization also has 15 ongoing group projects – one which aims to save both the environment and the community’s pocketbook is the Dept. of Public Worms. The group is planning to place several compost bins filled with red worms in parks throughout Isla Vista, the first of which Dahlstrom expects to be placed in People’s Park and Estero Park, she said. Compost bins allow individuals and businesses to recycle food that would have been considered waste and use it as fertilizer.
EAB would eventually like bins in all parks, but additional money is needed to pay for their construction, she said.
“We’re paying for [supplies] out of our own pockets,” Dahlstrom said. “We’re scavenging for lumber.”
In addition to dealing with the waste of food, EAB members are currently trying to convince UCSB Dining Services to purchase organic and locally grown foods, Dahlstrom said.
Dining Services has been taking bids from various food suppliers and farmers since January, when its contract with Barry Man, Inc. of Santa Barbara went up for renegotiations.
“[Residential Dining Service Assistant Director] Bonnie Crouse has been really cooperative and really excited about this process,” she said. “It’s going really well.”
Dahlstrom said students also benefit from EAB because of the lectures it provides every Thursday in Embarcadero Hall. Satish Kumar – who Dahlstrom said is famous for walking from India to England, founding a college in London, running a magazine focused on sustainability and writing various books – spoke at one of these lectures.
The environmental group also hosts a yearly Earth Day party in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park with live bands, free food, spoken-word performances and more, Dahlstrom said.
“We had over 1,000 people last year… everyone had so much fun,” she said.