Student fees used to supplement budgets
Even with less funding from the university, the budgets for CU’s multiple environmental programs haven’t changed in the last few years, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to.
“It’s always a challenge to work with what you have, but we can,” said Dan Baril, recycling program manager at CU.
According to Baril, even though he hasn’t received any more money from the university in some time, supplements from student fees help offset an increasing budget.
“We had to petition the students, and the students voted (yes) unanimously,” Baril said.
Contributions from other departments on campus help as well. According to Baril, Facilities Management recently set aside close to $40,000 for additional recycling containers. The athletic department contributed $5,000 to spend on containers for football games. Still, Baril believes more could be done.
“There’s initiative going on, but it is lacking,” Baril said. “You could always use more.”
Marianne Martin, associate director of the Environmental Center, agreed with Baril.
“There’s certainly no lack of environmental issues,” Martin said.
Martin in particular has been feeling the strain of low resources in recent weeks. She said that her staff put in 80-hour weeks during the weeks leading up to the CU Bioneers Conference on Oct. 19 through Oct. 21.
Furthermore, Martin believes that the work of the Environmental Center can generate a profit for CU. According to Martin, there’s a $12 savings for every $1 invested in environmental programs.
There are some issues with the program’s financial transparency. While financial records on student fees are easily available online, money from private sources such as endowments from the CU Foundation are not available to the public. A recent report from the Sustainable Endowment Institute gave the CU Foundation an “F” on Endowment Transparency, saying that “The university and the CU Foundation have no known policy of disclosure of endowment holdings or its shareholder voting record.”
However, Martin does not believe this is an issue.
“We’re extremely transparent because we’re funded by student fees,” Martin said.
Baril added that he’s unaware of any policy forbidding him from talking about his budget.
“We’re pretty transparent,” Baril said. “Departments want people to know what’s going on.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rob Ryan at email@example.com
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