AS election season ends today
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The spring elections for the Associated Students of Western Washington University end at 2 p.m. today.
On the ballot are races for the seven student government positions, a referendum on the Alternative Transportation Fee and three initiatives, on Higher One, the print quota and the on-campus sale of water bottles.
Here's what the students are voting on. For more information and results once they're available, visit http://as.wwu.edu/elections/ballot/ or http://as.wwu.edu/asreview/welcome-2012-election-issue/.
Alternative Transportation Fee
Shall all Western Washington University students taking six or more credits on the Bellingham Campus be assessed an Alternative Transportation Fee of up to $25 per quarter with the following conditions: A Whatcom Transportation Authority bus pass for every fee paying student and a late night student shuttle service that would run after WTA service ends. At a minimum this service would run in both directions connecting the main campus, downtown, and the Lincoln Creek Park and Ride. If late night service is not offered during summer quarter, students taking summer quarter classes will be charged a reduced fee. Fee increases will be limited to a maximum of 5% per year unless approved by the students through a vote. The fee will be for a maximum 5 year term subject to a student vote for renewal.
Higher One Initiative
The Higher One initiative helps to establish a greater transparency between the University, and the Higher One credit card company so that students can know how their dollars are being spent. Increased awareness facilitates better overall management. More importantly, this initiative will hopefully set a precedent for any future contracts that this University wishes to engage in, with other entities, as well, as hopefully initiate a trend for the University Administration which allows for the further involvement and input between the student population and administration regarding monumental decisions that impact the campus as a whole.
Print Quota Initiative
This initiative calls for a collaborative effort between the AS Board of Directors and the University Administration so as to develop and implement a new sustainable print quota system, to be executed within and no later than the 2012-2013 academic calendars. This new print quota system shall establish a new print quota for all students, recommended but not limited to include a new, realistic cap level of 200 pages. A realistic cap level is both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable. While acknowledging that the previous cap guidelines were simply unsustainable, it is obvious that the current quota is far too low. This initiative also calls for the implementation of a roll over system allowing the unused pages in one quarter to roll-over into the next. This roll over system will only operate during a standard academic calendar, in the spirit of environmental sustainability and economic feasibility.
Water Bottle Initiative
In 2010 western took a pledge to move towards being a carbon neutral university. By eliminating the sale of bottled water from our campus we would be reducing our carbon footprint by approximately 2,600 lbs of carbon dioxide per year. Plastic bottles also create a lot of water waste; it takes three liters of water to make one liter size plastic bottle. The production and sale of bottled water is not only an unsustainable practice, but also infringes on our basic human right to water. Water should not be exploited as a for-profit commodity at the expense of local communities, but rather treated as a common resource to be managed responsibly.
Here in Bellingham we have the luxury of being able to turn on the tap and receive pure wonderful water for free! Tap water is a local and sustainable source of safe drinking water. Drink tap and support your watershed: Lake Whatcom!
By eliminating bottled water on campus we would join the ranks of universities nationwide making a stand for the sustainable use of water.