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WWU Students Show Support for Renewable Electricity
Contact(s):   WWU Vice President George Pierce, Business and Financial Affairs, (360) 650-3180 4/29/2004
         Molly Ayre-Svingen, Students for Renewable Energy, (360) 510-5514  

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University students showed strong support during the Associated Students (AS, WWU’s student government) elections on April 27-28 with an 84.7 percent vote to pursue renewable electricity options for campus with university officials.

“We celebrate this vote, which marks the beginning of a conversation on how Western can take leadership regarding renewable energy,” said incumbent AS President Paul Graves.

The newly elected student government board will spend the next year working with university administrators on the practicalities and exact cost of implementing all or part of a renewable electricity program at Western before taking the proposal to the WWU Board of Trustees, which votes on whether to implement student fees.

“Our new Associated Students Board will take on the responsibility of addressing these issues with university officials and working with them to develop a strategic plan before bringing this to the Board of Trustees for a vote,” said Associated Students President-elect Rachel Zommick.

This initiative demonstrates students’ willingness to assess themselves a fee of up to $19 per quarter to pay for renewable electricity, said Molly Ayre-Svingen, a leader of Students for Renewable Energy, which sponsored the initiative. However, the exact cost of implementing renewable electricity has yet to be negotiated, as well as other details.

A total of 1,914 Western students voted on this initiative, the highest number of votes cast for any issue or candidate on this year’s election ballot.

“The university is extremely pleased with the commitment that the students have made to sustainable energy and green power. This is just another example of how students are prepared to walk their talk,” said WWU Vice President George Pierce of Business and Financial Affairs. “We look forward to exploring various options with the students to turn their wishes into reality.”

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