Oswego students raising 'green' to endow Eco-Fund

SUNY Oswego’s Class of 2009 has an ambitious—and timely—goal for its senior class gift. Class members will strive to raise $10,000 to endow an Eco-Fund. They would be the first senior class to create an endowment.

Proceeds from the endowed fund will be used to support students’ innovative green initiatives and environmental projects on campus. Projects may include initiating campus use of renewable resources such as solar and wind power, improving campus recycling efforts, funding conferences on sustainability for students to attend, and supporting student and faculty research, according to Michelle Tackett-Spinner, associate director of alumni relations and senior class adviser.

More than 250 students voted on the options for the senior gift.

The fact that there is a lot of interest in preserving the environment was a big reason behind the success of the Eco-Fund idea, said Latasha Jackson, senior gift coordinator.

“Over the past year, a lot of things have been more green,” Jackson said. “You can see how by altering one part of your life you are saving the planet, saving energy and saving money, too.”

Before putting the ideas up for a vote, Jackson and Jamie Burgess, senior class coordinator, sought feedback from classmates, as well as faculty and staff.

“We got great feedback and brought it to the attention of the Senior Class Planning Committee,” a group of 20 students who meet monthly to plan for the gift as well as Senior Week events in May, she said.

The goal is a nearly 50 percent increase over the $7,000 raised by the Class of 2008. “This will be a stretch goal for them,” Tackett-Spinner said of the class.

But Jackson said the class is confident they will succeed. Their innovative methods include having the telefund callers reach out to students and parents, and using Facebook to get students excited about the fund. The sale of senior T-shirts and a booth in the Campus Center will raise awareness and funds, Jackson added.

Anyone interested in contributing to the fund can do so at www.oswego.edu/alumni/seniors/gift.

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(Posted: Mar 19, 2009)