The Green Initiative Fund Referendum

Below is the text of ASUC Bill 61a TGIF in support of the TGIF referendum passed with 67% student approval during the 2007 ASUC elections:


A Bill in Support of The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Referendum on the Spring 2007 ASUC Ballot

Authored by Joel Guenther, Becca Jones, Sam Arons, Rachel Barge, Gabriel Elsner, Patrick Ford, Gabriel Harley, Claudia Pingatore, John Stanley, Morgan Wallace, Cyd Bernstein, Roland Saekow, Jenna Beers, Katherine Brittain, and Senators Jane Park and Dwight Asuncion

Sponsored by Senators Jane Park, Dwight Asuncion, Caro Jauregui, Brandon Chen, and Taylor Allbright

WHEREAS, environmental sustainability is of vital importance to current and future students, the University of California at Berkeley, and the greater community in which it is placed; and
WHEREAS, the ASUC has exhibited its long-term commitment to sustainability by specifically calling for a Director of Environmental Sustainability in Title 24 of the Bylaws; and
WHEREAS, the current financial model for sustainability projects on campus makes the goal of environmental sustainability untenable for UC Berkeley unless an alternative source of funding is found for these projects; and
WHEREAS, similar mandatory student fees have been passed at other UC campuses such as UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz to address the lack of financial resources for sustainability projects; and
WHEREAS, the level of sustainability of UC Berkeley is not on par with the student body’s support for sustainable development and concern regarding issues such as global warming; and
WHEREAS, TGIF will create a direct avenue for student involvement in and improvement of the material operations of the physical campus; and
WHEREAS, a mandatory student fee to create and sustain TGIF is a proposed solution to the unavailability of financial resources for sustainability projects at UC Berkeley and the want for greater student involvement in setting the tone for the campus’ environmental stewardship.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the following language below is the contract that the ASUC Senate will forward to the UC Office of the President to consider as The Green Initiative Fund Referendum, given that it is approved.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the below language be placed on this year's ASUC ballot for consideration of The Green Initiative Fund Referendum by the student body:

 

A mandatory student fee of $5 per semester has been proposed to raise funds for projects focused on environmental sustainability at UC Berkeley. The funded projects would focus on:

  • Minimizing UC Berkeley’s contribution to global climate change
  • Conserving water, energy, and other resources
  • Increasing UC Berkeley’s use of renewable energy from sources such as solar panels, wind power, and biodiesel for campus vehicles
  • Promoting local and organic food
  • Educating the campus community about environmental sustainability
  • Providing paid student internships

 

The funds will be managed by The Green Initiative Fund Grant Making Committee, under the ASUC-Auxiliary. The Committee will award funds to projects proposed by students, faculty, and/or staff based on the following guidelines:

  1. Projects shall reduce UC Berkeley’s impact on the environment.
  2. Projects shall have publicity, education and outreach components.
  3. Projects shall have received all necessary written approval by appropriate campus officials prior to consideration.
  4. UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty are able to submit project proposals; individuals and organizations outside of UC Berkeley are not.
  5. TGIF will not fund projects already mandated by law or UC policy.
  6. TGIF will fund projects that go above and beyond current legal or policy requirements.
  7. Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest reduction of UC Berkeley’s impact on the environment for the least cost.
  8. Preference will be given to projects that are able to repay the fund.
  9. Student participation should be encouraged.

 

The following mandatory fee will apply to all registered graduate and undergraduate students, and will be governed by UC Berkeley’s standard schedule of refunds. The fee is subject to the following costs and conditions:

  • Collection of the fee will begin with Fall Semester 2007 at $5.00 per semester and continue at that rate for three years, through Spring Semester 2010. The fee will be in effect for ten years, from Fall 2007 through Spring 2017. Students registering in the summer will be assessed a fee in the same amount as the following Fall Semester, beginning with summer 2008.
  • After Spring 2010, the fee will increase every three years to cover the cost of inflation and other increases (including the cost of energy) in the following manner:

 

Years Year Numbers Cost per Student per Semester
2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10 Years 1-3 $5.00
2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 Years 4-6 $5.50
2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 Years 7-10 $6.00


In accordance with campus policy, one-third of the fee will be returned to financial aid to help offset the cost of this fee for students who are eligible for financial aid.

BALLOT LANGUAGE

A mandatory student fee of $5 per semester, increasing by $0.50 in the 4th year (to $5.50) and 7th year (to $6.00) to cover inflation, and terminating after the 10th year, has been proposed to raise funds for projects that address UC Berkeley’s environmental sustainability and its impact on global climate change and that support student-led sustainability efforts. Do you approve of this fee?

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the funds will be managed by The Green Initiative Fund Grant Making Committee under the ASUC Auxiliary; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that The Green Initiative Fund Grant Making Committee will be governed by the By-Laws of the Green Initiative Fund in the custody of the authors and sponsors of this bill.

_____________________________________________________________

Spring 2016 TGIF Renewal Referendum

BALLOT LANGUAGE

The existing $6.00 per student per semester The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Fee has awarded more than $2 million to 149 campus sustainability projects and over 240 student environmental internships since 2007. In order to continue funding impactful environmental sustainability projects, new student internships, and sustainability programming and initiatives through the Student Environmental Resource Center at UC Berkeley, do you approve the renewal of The Green Initiative Fund Fee at $8.00 per student per semester?
 
Background
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Fee was a student-initiated mandatory $5 student fee (increasing to $6 over 10 years) established in 2007, and has since awarded more than $2 million to 149 campus sustainability projects and over 240 student internships. Such projects include: The Berkeley Student Food Collective Storefront, Student Organic Garden Association Intern Program, Strawberry Creek Stabilization Project, Tiny House in My Backyard, Installation of Bottle Refill Stations, and much more. For more information about projects TGIF has funded, visit tgif.berkeley.edu. The original TGIF fee, passed in 2007, is set to expire in 2017. As TGIF has proven its success through its far-reaching projects, the renewal and increase of the fee to $8 is needed in order to continue the current program and to expand the pool of grant
money available for sustainability projects. The fee will fund the expansion of food justice and security, water and energy conservation, habitat restoration, waste reduction and zero waste, sustainable transportation, environmental education, environmental justice, and student internships.

The funds will be awarded by The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Committee, a student-majority committee comprised of:
• One graduate Student appointed by the Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee of the Graduate Assembly (GA)
• One undergraduate Student appointed by the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)
• One Student appointed by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS)
• One undergraduate Student-at-Large, selected by the TGIF Committee, via an application process
• One Faculty member selected by the Academic Senate
• One Staff member from Administration, selected by the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance
• One Staff member from Real Estate, selected by the Vice Chancellor for Real Estate
 
The Committee will award funds to projects proposed by students, faculty, and/or staff via TGIF application process, based on the following guidelines:
1. Projects shall reduce UC Berkeley’s negative impact on the environment.
2. Projects shall include publicity, education and outreach components.
3. Projects shall have received all necessary written approval by appropriate campus officials prior to consideration.
4. All current UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty are eligible to submit project proposals; individuals and organizations outside of UC Berkeley are not.
5. TGIF will not fund projects already mandated by law or UC policy.
6. TGIF will fund projects that go above and beyond current legal or policy requirements.
7. Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate the greatest reduction of UC Berkeley’s negative impact on the environment for the least cost.
8. Preference will be given to projects that are able to repay the fund.
9. Preference will be given to student-led and student-benefiting projects.
 
The mandatory fee will apply to all registered graduate and undergraduate students, and will be governed by UC Berkeley’s standard schedule of refunds. The fee is subject to the following costs and conditions:
  • Collection of the fee will begin with Fall Semester 2017 at $8.00 per semester and continue at that rate for three years, through Spring Semester 2020. The fee will be in effect for ten years, from Fall 2017 through Spring 2027. Students registering in the summer will be assessed a fee in the same amount as the following Fall Semester, beginning with summer 2018.
  • After Spring 2020, the fee will increase every three years to cover the cost of inflation and increased demand and size of future projects in the following manner:
 
Years
Fee per Student per Semester
2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-2020 
$8.00
2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 
$9.00
2023-24, 2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27 10.00
 

In accordance with campus policy, one-third of the fee will be returned to financial aid to help offset the cost of this fee for students who are eligible for financial aid.

 
Oversight
The funds will be managed by the TGIF Committee and the TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator, reporting through the ASUC Student Union. The TGIF Committee and TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator are governed by the Bylaws of The Green Initiative Fund.

Appendix A:
The Green Initiative Bylaws - The attached bylaws were last updated in September of 2012. TGIF’s current committee is planning on amending them this coming spring semester to better reflect the current mission of the program.

 

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.