Why should students pay for TGIF? Why not the administration?
The truth is, the administration should be paying for campus sustainability initiatives. However, the
funds do not currently exist on either the state or campus level to pay for the numerous sustainability
projects that need to happen on our campus. Climate change needs to be addressed now, and our
campus needs to begin investing in the sustainable infrastructure that will pay off in the future. This is
our chance as students to place major pressure on the administration to step up their own sustainability
initiatives and match TGIF (the same goes for alumni). We students are spearheading sustainability
and holding our campus accountable to do the same.
How do I know flaky student groups aren’t going to waste this money? Who will propose projects
besides students? How do we know decent project proposals will be made?
• Projects can be proposed by faculty and staff of UC Berkeley, not just by students. Students
working on TGIF have been in contact with numerous campus administrative departments
including Physical Plant Campus Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Refuse and
Recycling, etc, who are all aware of TGIF and will likely submit proposals if TGIF passes.
• TGIF grants do not fund general activities of any group (such as a student group); TGIF only
awards money to well-defined projects.
• TGIF’s Bylaws list specific project criteria to make sure that only well-conceived, high-impact
projects will be funded.
• There are plenty of great project opportunities out there. There’s a backlog of potential projects
suggested by groups such as the Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP), the Chancellor’s
Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS), and Facilities Services. In fact the 2005
Sustainability Assessment, available at http://sustainability.berkeley.edu/assessment outlines
numerous short and long-term projects that could be implemented at UC Berkeley.
Where does the money go if it isn’t spent?
It is almost certain that all available money will be spent each year because there are far too many
sustainability projects that need to be completed on campus, and the entities on campus that could do
these projects are already asking for more than $200,000 annually. If for some reason, the money isn’t
spent by a project it will return to the fund for the next year and will be reallocated then.
Who appoints the Grant Making Committee? Are these people trust-worthy?
• One student is appointed by the ASUC Director of Sustainability
• One student is appointed by the chair of the Graduate Assembly Environmental Sustainability
• One student is appointed by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability
• One staff member is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of Administration
• One staff member is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of Facilities Services
• One faculty member is appointed by the Academic Senate
• The last student is appointed by the 6 other appointees on the Grant Making Committee.
Appointments are made annually, and there is a two consecutive term limit. After a year off, a
Committee member may serve again.
We chose a diverse group of campus bodies to appoint the most qualified and knowledgeable students,
staff and faculty to the Grant Making Committee. The bodies are all major contributors to the campus
sustainability movement and will make knowledgeable appointments.
Who holds the TGIF Grant Making Committee accountable to the students?
There are four ways in which the TGIF Grant Making Committee is held accountable:
• First, there are three non-voting members who sit on The Green Initiative Fund Grant Making
Committee, including one appointed by the ASUC Senate, whose sole responsibility is to
monitor the fund for accountability.
• Second, TGIF maintains publicly available records of all projects funded each year.
• Third, Committee members are appointed by a diverse set of organizations to ensure different
viewpoints and perspectives.
• Finally, the Bylaws have provisions to prevent committee members from having conflicts of
interest. The Bylaws also include provisions to remove committee members who exhibit
Why not make this a voluntary fee, like CalPIRG?
• The overhead costs of manually collecting a voluntary fee are huge and the process is time-
consuming, resulting in less impact for your dollar
• As a student body we want to demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability and create
leverage to ask the administration to do the same
• Mandatory fees are eligible for financial aid, voluntary ones are not
• Everyone benefits from a greener campus so we should all pay equally
$5 would triple the current amount of funding for sustainability projects on campus (The Chancellor’s
Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS) usually receives$100,000 per year), and survey data
found most students were in favor of paying $5 over a greater or lesser fee.
Why does the fee increase?
To cover inflation and projected increases in energy costs.
Won’t voting for TGIF cause more people to pass student fees in the future?
No. Passing a fee referendum is incredibly hard work. It takes a committed body of students working
for over a year to do it. Also, TGIF is not funding a particular student group or department; it is
creating a new fund to address a need that is not currently being met on campus.
How will TGIF affect students receiving financial aid?
As per university policy, 1/3 of the initial $300,000 raised by TGIF each year ($5 x 2 semesters x
30,000 students) will be apportioned to the financial aid office via “return to aid,” leaving $200,000 for
sustainability projects. This extra money allows the financial aid office to give more to those students
who really can’t afford a $5 fee increase.
Will TGIF reduce the funding that the administration already gives to sustainability?
We don’t think so. The University will still have to spend its own money for sustainability activities
required by law or University policy, since TGIF’s bylaws state that it will only fund projects that go
above and beyond these requirements.