Green Fund awards sustainability grants

by Joe Abraham,

From bike racks outside Montag to a local symposium about refugees, the Green Fund program is sponsoring diverse projects that advance sustainability, equity and social justice on campus and in our community.

The program was established in 2014 after undergraduate students voted in a referendum to create an optional fee of $25 per semester. Since then, it’s seen at least 80 percent participation by students.

This year the fund’s awards committee of voting students and advising administrators received 30 project proposals requesting a total of over $220,000. The committee awarded over $72,000 in grants to 22 projects.

“Our community now has the ability to foster creative projects that address interdisciplinary issues of social justice, sustainability and economics,” says Green Fund committee chairman Conner Rettig ’17. “The potential for integrated student, faculty and staff collaboration truly attests to what Willamette can be in the future.”

Awardees: Hania Marien and Professor Joyce Millen

Project: In the “Journeys of my life” community creative writing project, Willamette University and Willamette Academy students work with a distinguished writer and illustrator to address issues of social justice and equity in our community.

Grant: $3,000

Awardees: Phoebe Wagner and Professor Joyce Millen

Project: The on-campus Salem Refugee Symposium builds on the work of Willamette students in three courses studying immigrant and refugee integration into the Salem community. The symposium will bring together key players in the community to explore the current immigrant and refugee situation in and around the City of Salem.

Grant: $2,880

Awardee: Maile Symonds

Project: Support for Symonds’ senior thesis research on college retention and graduation, specifically interviewing students of color at other institutions with relatively high levels of recruitment and retention.

Grant: $500

Awardees: Professors Kelly Strawn and Sarah Kirk

Project: A pilot program of the Multicultural Affairs Committee and others to support first-generation and working-class students.

Grant: $4,250

Awardee: Sarah Brush

Project: Re-establishing an annual campus-wide retreat for students, faculty and staff to discuss and affirm the campus community’s goals and aspirations for advancing sustainability, social justice and equity on campus and in our community.

Grant: $9,955

Awardee: Professor Catalina de Onis

Project: In the “Salem Spark” project, de Onis and students will engage and communicate with the Salem community about issues of social justice and equity through coursework, service and other cocurricular activities, with a goal of establishing new and long-term connections

Grant: $15,900

Awardee: Olivia Orosco

Project: Through a research-focused summer internship and Catalina de Onis' "Salem Spark" project, this project will help the Willamette community frame sustainability and environmentalism using an inclusive racial and economic equity lens and to see environmental and social justice movements as co-constitutive.

Grant: $2,926

Awardees: Mary McRobinson and Jonathan Bucci

Project: “Bountiful Harvest: From Land to Table” is a collaborative project of the Hatfield Library, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the history department to bring artist Betty Laduke to campus to engage with students and others on issues of sustainability, equity and social justice related to her work and other contemporary issues.

Grant: $3,010


Awardees: Olivia Mancl, Grace Pochis, Ben Johnston, Ari Hoffman and Professor Wendy Petersen-Boring

Project: Bridge funding for the continuation of a part-time small sustainable agriculture, gardening and farming coordinator position to support co-curricular and curricular activities at Zena Forest and on campus.

Grant: $10,000


Awardee: Jordis Miller

Project: Purchase of new bikes to improve the popular bike share program at the student-run Bike Shop.

Grant: $4,000


Awardee: Bethanie Lee

Project: An event celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the student-run Sexual Assault Response Allies (SARA) program at Willamette University.

Grant: $930


Awardee: Sarah Brush

Project: Support for the student-organized Rally for Science event on Earth Day 2017.

Grant: $515


Awardees: Illana Mass and Kelly Donaldson

Project: Summer research support to develop a residence hall energy conservation competition program.

Grant: $3,000


Awardees: Hannah Swanson and Professor Dave Craig

Project: Support for training to research and improve native woodpecker habitat at Zena, on campus and in Bush Park.

Grant: $2,535


Awardees: Rebeca Lopez-Figueroa, Malorie Hill and Gordy Toyama

Project: Support for a student-led textbook drive and share program operated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Grant: $3,000


Awardees: Sierra Wilson and Professor Andrew Duncan

Project: Support for researching waste generation in organic chemistry labs, identifying ways to reduce waste production and improve waste prevention and diversion.

Grant: $1,872


Awardees: Ashley Alunan and Gordon Toyama

Project: Mosaic Mentoring program professional development by attendance at Oregon Students of Color Conference.

Grant: $2,265


Awardee: Jordis Miller

Project: Installation of bike racks at Montag.

Grant: $2,005


Awardee: Professor Stephanie DeGooyer

Project: EcoCriticism curriculum development.

Grant: $2,000


Awardee: Nathan Hectman

Project: Professional and Take a Break program development by attendance at Food Tank Conference.

Grant: $550


Awardee: Olivia Mancl

Project: Professional and Farm Club program development by attending Women in Sustainable Agriculture conference.

Grant: $275


Awardees: Luisa Williams and Gordy Toyama

Project: Distributing menstrual cups to marginalized groups on campus.

Grant: $1,075


Awardees: Malorie Hill and Gordy Toyama

Project: Office of Multicultural Affairs first-generation student book drive.

Grant: $3,000

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