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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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New sustainability coordinator chosen to help with student fee

By Jake Hibbard

The Office of Sustainability chose Whitney Williams, with the Office of Human Resources’ approval, to be the coordinator for the student sustainability fee Monday.

The $2.50 per-semester fee was created in Spring Semester to fund student-inspired projects to make the campus more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Williams, who was chosen out of a pool of about 85 applicants, will help students refine their ideas before they’re brought to an eight-person committee for approval.

Williams said she was excited to start working with students on saving resources on campus, according to a press release from the Office of Sustainability. Williams will start Tuesday.

Before taking the position, Williams worked for the U at its Entrada Field Station, which is a U environmental research area in southeastern Utah. She has also worked for Utah Open Lands, a nonprofit land trust conservation association.

Williams was chosen over two other finalists for the position: Dallas Hamilton, one of the main proponents of the fee last spring, and U alumnus Katie Smith.

The coordinator was the last position that needed to be filled, said Myron Willson, director of the sustainability office.

An eight-member committee, which is in charge of deciding where the sustainability fee is used on campus, is already filled and held its first meeting. Members of the committee include students, such as resident adviser Justin Reuter, as well as faculty and staff, such as Cory Higgins, director of facilities management.

The thus-far unused sustainability student fee will have collected about $145,000 by next semester if no decisions on how to spend it are made before Winter Break.

Erica Andersen, ASUU senior class president, has said she will pursue using the sustainability fees to fund the “Reimagining The Plaza” senior gift, which will be a design contest to make the plaza outside the east entrance of the Marriott Library into a social center.

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