DePaul University student government moves to include ‘green fee’ on upcoming election ballot

DePaul University’s student government is allowing students to vote for a “green fee” in an upcoming referendum.

The fee would support environmental initiatives at the school, including a new sustainability office.

DePaul University students can vote to add a “green fee” to their tuition bill in their upcoming student government election.

As reported by student newspaper The DePaulia, the fee would support “sustainability initiatives” at the school and cost each student $5 per quarter. If successfully implemented, the fee would be billed to DePaul students each term and generate $300,000 each year.

The proposed fee would be added to the $25 per-term activity fee that students already pay among other various campus fees, as well as the roughly $40,000 that students pay in tuition.

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The fee was initially proposed by Wesley Janicki — the executive vice president of facility operations for the school’s student government — who felt that DePaul should mimic other schools in the area that have already implemented similar sustainability fees.

“A lot of other universities have [environmental sustainability fees] and I think DePaul should have one,” Janicki told Campus Reform in an interview.

The University of Illinois Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University respectively levy $6 and $3 sustainability fees per semester. Concordia University Chicago also includes a “green fee” as part of its $976 annual fee for undergraduates.

With the funds from the fee, Janicki explains that the school could launch a new campus office devoted to sustainability and create a sustainability coordinator faculty position.

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One decade ago, the school’s Environmental Concerns Committee implemented a similar $10 fee in response to several campus protests surrounding climate change. This previous fee was approved by 80 percent of the student body, according to minutes from the student government’s April 9 meeting on the subject.

It is unclear how many current students would support the fee.

DePaul University did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.