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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bill allows students to vote to approve environmental programs

Students from Texas A&M and University of Texas put aside their rivalry to speak in favor of a bill promoting environmentally sustainable programs on Texas campuses.
The Green Fee bill would allow state universities to add a student fee of less than $5 to fund these programs if the student body votes in favor of such a fee.
“It [the bill] allows students to vote if they would like to see [funding for] more environmentally sustainable projects,” said
Environmental Issues Committee Chairwoman Amanda Grosgebauer, a senior English major. “All the power is in the students’ hands.”
In the A&M spring elections, 76 percent of the student body voted that they would like to see A&M invest more in environmentally sustainable programs and services. The EIC is working to implement a $1 per semester student fee at A&M.
The EIC, a committee of the Student Government Association, was asked to speak by Reenergize Texas, a coalition of college students advocating conservationism in Texas. Reenergize Texas provides resources for and organizes students to unite and get involved in promoting environmentally sustainable programs.
The students spoke before the Committee of Higher Education in the House of Representatives. Grosgebauer represented A&M, along with a representative from Reenergize Texas, the chairman of the University of Texas EIC and a neutral testifier who did not advocate the bill but spoke about the effects. He said the bill would be based on his experiences working for energy conservation at UT.
The students arrived at 2 p.m. and waited until 8:30 p.m. to see the committee. Grosgebauer asked the committee to put aside their politics and come together to do what is best for Texas college students.
“We see it as something for all people,” Grosgebauer said. “I gave my testimony based on how this would be good for A&M from what I’ve seen from my role at A&M.”
Students called senators on Earth Day, asking them to approve the bill. The EIC made postcards that 500 students signed in petition of the bill.
“The bill cuts off the time frame in getting a fee enacted,” said incoming EIC chairwoman Fabiola Molina, a sophomore biomedical sciences major. “It can take up to four years, but with this preapproval it can be voted on and as soon it passes then it can automatically be sent to the administration for approval.”

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