Sustainability Blog


UW-W Student Sustainability Fund

 The Student Sustainability Fund Provides money to students to fund projects that help make UW-Whitewater a more sustainable campus. This money is offered to promote sustainability on campus and involve the student body in these initiatives. The goal is that the level of awareness of these is issues are heightened and our campus continually adopts sustainability initiatives to continue to reduce our campus’ global footprint.

Types of Grants:

Tier I Grants: are small grants (up to $500) that fund projects that will be completed in one semester. Grant applications are due throughout the whole semester, but must be completed by the semester of which it was submitted by.  Grants will be approved by grant sub-committee and will seek help from the WSG Sustainability Director, Alex LaBonte. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased signage for conservation and recycling on campus
  • Reuseable water bottles for giveaways

Tier II Grants: are larger grants ($200-$5000) that are completed by the end of the academic year. These grants must be assisted with the help of a faculty or staff mentor, and must have achievable goals that will be completed within one academic year. Projects will be accepted by grant sub-committee.

  • Bike repair kit
  • Art display

  Tier III Grants: are substantial grants (more than $5000 or 50% of the Sustainability Fund) that fund multi-year project(s). Before acceptance, a full feasibility report must be completed. It must be assisted by faculty or staff mentor, and must have a concise timeline that will list all parties completing throughout the entire project. Projects will be presented and approved by the entire Sustainability Council.

  • Shared bike program
  • Green roof

Feasibility Study Grants: The Sustainability Fund will provide grants of $250 to students who will examine a project that would be suitable for a Tier III Grant.  This study will provide a detailed report of the timelines, parties involved, and budget (with additional funding sources). Reports will be compiled into a dynamic document for other interested parties to use if the plan doesn’t get completed by author of report. Reports will be presented and accepted by Sustainability Council.

Projects including the following will NOT be considered for funding

·      Microloans

·      Educational Research

·      Purchase for off-campus equipment

Proposal Process/Guidelines

To apply for the Student Sustainability Fund money, complete the application and submit it electronically via e-mail to Applications will be reviewed at least once a month, and be approved on a monthly basis. Project awards will awarded on the resources of the remaining fund and must be based on the following requirements and criteria:

·      Sponsored by a full-time student(s) or recognized student organization that is sponsored by a full-time faculty or staff member to be eligible to apply

·      Located on campus property and must adhere to applicable University of Wisconsin System policies

·      Include a well researched application that clearly describes projects intent, budget, timeline, and student involvement

·      The total amount available to the Student Sustainability Fund for all projects is $10,000/year ($5,000/semester).


Considerations When Applying

There are certain priorities that are important to consider when implementing a sustainability project. Submitted proposals will be judged by, but not limited to, the following preferred criteria:

·      Project proposals have goals and objectives that seek to directly advance the sustainability of UW-Whitewater and have a visible and identifiable impact on student sustainability awareness.

·      Projects that have a timeline with periodic deliverables (reports, photo-journal, etc) that provides regular feedback and awareness to project progress.

·      Benefit all three aspects of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social justice

·      Impact that extends beyond the UW-Whitewater campus to involve the City of Whitewater and/or regional community

·      Involve collaborations with various University organizations, departments, and/or faculty

·      The Sustainability Fund Subcommittee reserves the right to refer proposals to the appropriate representative(s) of departments that may be affected by the proposed project prior to reviewing the overall budget (Campus Landscaping Committee, Director of FP&M, Risk Management, Faculty Senate)



If you have any questions concerning the program or need help filling out the application, please contact Wesley Enterline, Sustainability Coordinator, at, Dr. Josh Mabie, Sustainability Fellow, at, or Alex LaBonte, WSG Sustainability Director, at




The Fate of Fossil Fuels Rests in President Obama’s Hands: 

The Keystone XL is a proposed 1700-mile pipeline that would transfer oil sands from Alberta Canada through the United States to Texas and Louisiana Gulf Shores refineries. First, let me explain what oil sands actually are; also referred to tar sands or unconventional oil, oil sands are a mixture of oil, sand, water, and clay that almost has a peanut butter texture. There are two ways to harvest these oil sands. One is by strip mining meaning that it can be accessible by removing the top layer of the ground and removing the oil from the sands that way (this only accounts for 20% of all the oil sands). Or, the second, more common way, is to get the oil sands from deep well mines which requires more energy and even more CO2 emissions.

Canada currently sits on the third largest oil deposits in the world, so this has potential to have a high export profit. The only problem for Canada is that they’re landlocked. There is no way that they can easily transport their oil without using trains which is not only expensive but very high is CO2 emissions. The reason the United States is getting sucked into this discussion is obviously because they want to put a pipe right through our country, but since this does cross an international border the decision is completely up to signing a Presidential Permit.

So what’s the big issue with the pipeline? Well for starters, environmentalists aren’t exactly the happiest when the proposition came to building the pipeline. The strongest argument is that this will set the stage and dependency for using fossil fuels. This will also open the door to more areas used to extract unconventional oils which result in even more CO2 emissions into the atmosphere which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change claimed that climate change is 95% related to human extraction of fossil fuels into the atmosphere. Also, there’s the factor of a spillage and the mess and energy intensity it would take to clean up the slime that would coat our American soil. And how about the animals? The Center for Biological Diversity states that the pipeline has potential to endanger at least 12 species of wildlife including mammals, birds, and plant life. Finally, don’t be fooled if someone tells you that this pipeline will create thousands of jobs. It’s more like 12 long standing jobs and most of the first-time jobs will be outsourced from Canada.

On the other side, we do live right next to Canada and having them as an enemy wouldn’t be in our best interest.  Plus, TransCanada (the company in charge), and Canadian officials have said that they’ll extract and export this oil no matter what. The pipeline is, although it hurts to say, the more environmentally safe way of transporting the oil that taking it by a coal burning train. Also, some may argue that instead of banning the pipeline, why not regulate and tax CO2 producing industries that emit tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every day.

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong answer here. It’s a lose-lose situation either way, but I think that instead of investing millions of dollars in hauling this conventional oil, why don’t we invest in alternative energy such as wind, solar, and electric energy. President Obama said that he would only approve the project if it didn’t contribute immensely to the rise of climate change, but wouldn’t this still be contributing extremely to climate change and our use of fossil fuels? How is this going to affect generations to come and how will President Obama’s legacy carry out? It’s been rumored that he’ll be making a decision in early 2014. For more information, check out my links below, or send me an email at



March 4th Senate Meeting

On Monday March 4th the Whitewater Student Government had our weekly Senate Meeting, WSG was happy to announce the implementation of the Student Savings Club on campus! The Student Savings club is available to any UW-Whitewater student, all that is needed is the presentation of your HawkCard at a number of local businesses, while some businesses give discount to students with the presentation of a HawkCard, some deals require a printed off coupon. The website to find these deals can be found here, this site lists the 30+ local businesses that offer discounts to UW-W students as well as provides the aforementioned coupons.

Please feel free to contact WSG with any questions regarding the Student Savings Club, or any other questions.

As always, feel free to post any comments below, and look back for any more updates in the world of WSG.

Best, Dan Bristow

March 4th Senate meeting minutes: 3-4-13[1]

WSG meeting Monday, October 8th 2012


In tonight’s meeting, taking place on Monday, October 08, the Whitewater Student Government was visited by Brent Bilodeau who is the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student affairs here on campus, Dr. Bilodeau started his speaking turn out as normal, by getting the Senate involved, we were asked why we are sitting in our seats tonight, why we’re in WSG, and what we want to get out of our time in our roles as members of The Whitewater Student Government. After reflecting on what we want out of this experience, we were asked to share our findings with the rest of the body. A majority of the members of the Senate and Executive Board stated that we’re here to become better leaders and to take a number of things from this experience including, but not limited to communication skills, making a difference, learning new skills, as well as having a fingerprint on such a great campus. Dr. Bilodeau concluded with asking WSG to learn from our time on Senate, and to take advantage of the opportunity that we have being a member of WSG.

Building off of that thought, we as Whitewater Student Government had the chance to reflect for a few moments during our meeting and think about what WSG is to us, and what we want from our time here on the body, WSG was wondering what you guys as students want to take away from your time as a UW-Whitewater student and how we can help you out with those goals and how we can help you get the most out of your time here as a Warhawk.

Ms. Anne Weberphal came to the Senate to speak on behalf of the Veterans and Service Members Recognition Committee and spoke on the Pentagon Pentathlon: this activity takes place in the Warhawk Alley and is a week-long tournament of five events including bowling, pool, beanbags, laddergolf, and trivia. Teams may consist of 5-8 members and the cost is $25 per team. All proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. Registrations are available in the Warhawk Alley and in the Veterans Lounge in the Andersen Library.

Two pieces of legislation were brought to the table in tonight’s meeting as well, The Student Representation Efficiency Act which merges the Esker and Drumlin Districts on campus to allow for Senators living on campus to act as Senators for the entire campus district not separated into Esker or Drumlin Districts, making for ease of filling open senate seats. And the Executive Professionalism Re-Titling, this legislation calls for the Executive Board to be changed to the Executive Cabinet, as stated in the legislation, “The current administration has put high priority on enhancing the professional atmosphere and experience of whitewater Student Government to better serve the Students and individuals of the Executive Board…and the term ‘Executive Board’ does not reflect the true nature of their duties or responsibilities.”  This legislation was brought to the table to change the name of the Executive Board to the Executive Cabinet, as stated before, renaming the group of individuals Cabinet instead of Executive Board better serves the group and better explains their duties and what they really are.

Thank you for reading our weekly blog about what is going on in WSG, please comment below if you’d like and look back next week for more updates on the wide world of WSG!

All the best, Dan Bristow

Four Year Plans


Undergraduate degrees have become harder and harder to obtain in four years or less.  The average college student spends about 5-6 years completing their undergraduate degrees. In an effort to assist students in graduating in four years; The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater offers “four year plans” in every major on campus.  You can find them here:

Please use these planning sheets to assist you in planning your years here at Whitewater and to help you graduate on time!


Off-Campus Housing

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with to assist students in finding off-campus housing. A new iFrame has been added to the WSG website to assist students in finding properties, roommates, and subleases. Please visit the “Off-Campus Housing” page under the “Services” tab to see for yourself!

"Your Voice on Campus"