:: SGA discusses Sustainability, alcohol policy
Students and faculty members dealt with issues related to the new sustainability plan and recent issues related to Elon’s alcohol
policy at an SGA Senate meeting last week.
The Senate meeting opened with a presentation by Janet McFall, coordinator of environmental studies, and Gerald Whittington, chair of the environmental council.
Whittington discussed Elon’s proposed Sustainability Plan, which will be implemented through an effort to help the surrounding community to practice a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
The main goal of the plan is to teach individuals how to be carbon-neutral, or use little to no carbon. Whittington emphasized that this will be a long-term goal which will be carried out through a host of steps, including energy reduction and
Whittington also hopes to establish a center that will house a learning
community for environmental studies, and provide the surrounding Elon and Burlington community with information about sustainable practices.
Though Whittington admitted that the proposed plan will result in a tuition increase, he was also quick to say that it will not result in a dramatic increase.
McFall also pointed out that the plan will result in a significant decrease in tuition in the long run.
The plan will focus on changes such as purchasing local and organic foods, and will strongly emphasize energy conservation. Thanks to these changes, food will become cheaper and buildings will last longer.
“The big issue is that we will be invoking changes which will require collective change in behavior,” Whittington said. “This will be difficult. The single major impetus is you folks, right here.”
The Senate meeting also included a discussion on alcohol policy, led by Smith Jackson, vice president and dean of student of life. Faculty members have recently discussed the “alcohol climate” of Elon’s campus, especially as it relates to academics.
There were debates as to the implications of Elon’s current drinking policy. Many individuals believe that while the policy discourages high risk drinking, it does not address the issue of underage drinking.
Consequently, members of Elon faculty are in the process of revising the university’s position statement on
“I realize that we have a very social culture on our campus, but alcohol consumption holds students back from doing the best that they can,” Jackson said. “Our first priority is certainly student safety, but what about making good life choices?
The possibility of investing in breathalyzers was discussed. The issue of being charged with accessory was one which many students believe is unfair. Jackson is in agreement.
“Students should not be penalized for not drinking,” Jackson said. “The option of breathalyzers is something we will look into.”
Reporter: Ashley Dischinger - 04/19/07