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Sustainability Committee discusses $63K bike rack

The Sustainable Campus Fee Committee has put nearly $63,000 towards a bike sharing system. The rack, which will include 10 bikes, will be part of the city-wide bike share.

The committee, which is responsible for sustainability projects such as the solar panels in the UC Plaza and the two-way flush toilets, approved the project as part of its October contest.

“Every semester, students pay a sustainability fee, and that money goes into an account that pays for sustainability projects of all kinds,” Sustainability Coordinator Laura Prange said. “This year we did something a little bit different that was really exciting, we did a student competition in October.”

October is National Campus Sustainability Month, and campuses across the nation celebrate it differently. The 2017 competition was the first for APSU.

“The competition is called the Great Green Idea and it is just for an idea,” Prange said. “It doesn’t have to be explained, there’s no budget, it’s just an idea of what would make our campus more sustainable.”

There are three categories: small, medium and large-scale projects. The students with the three winning proposals are given $250.

“This year we had some really good ideas and one of them was a bike share program,” Prange said. SGA president Frank Burns summitted the proposal.

After the project won, the committee gets a fee proposal to decide whether the project can be funded. Not all winning projects are. The small-scale winning project, which was for recycling in the dorms, could not be funded by the committee since housing is a separate department.

The winning medium project was for the National Pan-Hellenic Council garden, which will be funded by another department. The Sustainability Campus Fee Committee unanimously decided to fund the bike share program, a total of $62,900.

“The neat thing is that we are partnering with the city of Clarksville because the City of Clarksville already has this program around town,” Prange said.

Students will be able to ride the bikes around the city and check them in at the other bike-share locations. The committee still needs to decide where on campus the rack will go.

“Frank Burns suggested we have a survey in the spring to ask students where they would like the bike rack,” Prague said. Suggestions include the Foy and MUC.

If the program is successful, it could grow.

“The important thing to remember is that this program can expand, but we want to make sure that its going to be a success,” Prange said. “When it is introduced in the fall as we hope it is, we’re going to do everything we can to educate people, to market it, to really make those bicycles work. Then we’ll look at getting another 10 bicycles.”

The committee accepts proposals year-round. Any student can submit an idea.

“I’m here to help anybody develop their idea for the competition or their request for the regular submissions,” Prange said.

For more information about APSU Sustainability, visit www.apsu.edu/sustainability.

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