University of Missouri

48-47: An Act Establishing a Referendum for a New Student Fee of $1 for Sustainability Initiatives and for Continuing the ASUM Fee

Purpose: This bill would establish a special election on February 9-11, 2008, for students to vote on increasing student fees $1 per semester to go towards sustainability programming and initiatives.
WHEREAS, The University of Missouri is in a unique position to address environmental sustainability concerns in a wide variety of ways, and multiple indicators, significant in both scale and unprecedented longevity, are suggesting that leadership in this area would serve the university extraordinarily well in the future, and
WHEREAS, In the current economic environment, with funding stretched increasingly thin, the impetus for such projects must come from a concerted and dynamic source, and the funding source that is currently in the best position to address this need is the student body, and
WHEREAS, Universities such as, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Oregon, Harvard University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, have already implemented similar student fees, and
WHEREAS, The University of Missouri has recently signed the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment and will need support implementing and promoting the changes required by this agreement in the next two years, and
WHEREAS, MSA Bill 48-19 recommended that University administration hire a Sustainability Coordinator, and
WHEREAS, this student fee would be used towards supporting the Sustainability Coordinator, and
WHEREAS, the fee would be used to hire two graduate assistants, each costing $12,000, and up to $15,000 a year, to assist the Sustainability Coordinator in the fulfillment of the Coordinator’s duties, oversee and coordinate the SustainaReps, research sustainability initiatives both at the University and other Universities in the nation, and perform audits at the University to show cost savings of sustainability initiatives, and
WHEREAS, the fee would also be used to hire student sustainability representatives, or “SustainaReps,” costing up to $1,000 per student per semester with the funding for at most 6 students, to provide assistance communicating with students and leading programs to educate the campus body about sustainability, and
WHEREAS, the remainder of the fee would act as an operating budget, overseen by the Sustainability Coordinator and Graduate Assistants in conjunction with the MSA Sustainability Committee and Environmental Affairs Committee, to fund projects that will maximize the quantifiable impact of each student dollar, will be visible to or impact a great number of students, and will help establish the University as a leader in environmentally sustainable practices, and
WHEREAS, the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) is the student lobbying organization of the University of Missouri System, and the only student lobbying organization in Missouri, and
WHEREAS, ASUM registered over 3,000 students to vote between June-October 2008, passed two bills, “Textbook Transparency Act” and Senate Bill 873, giving the student curator a vote on the board of curators, in 2008 and
WHEREAS, each year, ASUM selects, train, and operates an internship program in which University of Missouri students are selected and are registered lobbyists, lobbying on behalf of student interests each session of the Missouri General Assembly, and
WHEREAS, Every four years ASUM must seek a student referendum from each of the four campuses in order to affirm ASUM’s continued existence.
THEREFORE, be it enacted by the Missouri Students Association that a special election to vote on the new Sustainability Fee of $1 be set on February 9-11, 2008, and
THEREFORE, be it further enacted that in conjunction with the Referendum for a new student fee for Sustainability Initiatives, ASUM’s referendum shall be included in the special election on February 9-11, 2008.
EXECUTION CLAUSE: Upon passage, it shall be the responsibility of the BEC to establish the election pursuant to Chapter 5 of the bylaws regarding special elections.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gwen Daniels            Chelsea Johnson            Jim Kelley
SFRC Chair            MSA Vice President            MSA President

Patrick Margherio        Ben Datema
Sustain Mizzou President     Sustain Mizzou Student Advisor