HonorEarthWinona State University is committed to building and supporting a sustainable society. From the President’s Climate Commitment to campus infrastructure, course and program offerings, and student housing, the university community works to practice and promote sustainable living.

New this fall, WSU students will contribute a small “green fee” each semester to help support the university’s commitment to sustainability.

The green fee, less than $5 per semester per student, will support student-driven projects and sustainability initiatives. The fund will also support the initial hiring of a new Sustainability Director and 10-12 student help positions.

The WSU Sustainability Committee, which includes five students and employee representatives from across the campus, worked with WSU’s Student Senate to seek approval of the new fee.

Student Alison Bettin, a committee member and senior studying biology-ecology and public administration, said sustainability is a necessity for human life.

“We are beginning to see how our actions affect the future on many levels,” Bettin said. “With the green fee comes funding and staff to follow through on important measures, including tracking sustainable improvements on campus.”

WSU’s approach to sustainability includes campus efforts like RecycleMania and student Energy Challenge competitions, as well as partnerships with community groups like Sustain Winona and the Winona Area Pollinators.

According to committee member and WSU computer science professor Joan Francioni, WSU’s sustainability goals can be summed up by the Aldo Leopold quote featured on the “Honor the Earth” statue recently dedicated in the Prairie Garden south of WSU’s Integrated Wellness Complex:

“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we begin to use it with love and respect.”

For more information, contact Francioni at JFrancioni@winona.edu.

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Samantha Stetzer

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