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ISU Survey Suggests Student "Green Tax," But Leaders Unmoved

A survey conducted by an Indiana State University professor shows modest support for an optional fee that would generate money for green initiatives on campus. ISU officials say there’s not much chance they’ll implement the plan.

The survey was the third of its kind conducted by Jim Speer, executive director of ISU’s Institute for Community Sustainability, and attempts to gauge ISU’s concern for environmental issues.

School spokesman Dave Taylor says while the university is committed to the idea of sustainability, the additional fee is not be something President Dan Bradley or the Board of Trustees are interested in pursuing at this time.

“That goes back to balancing the whole issue of affordability and environmental responsibility, and it’s kinda tough to do both, I suppose," Taylor says. "But certainly there’s a tremendous responsibility to not only students but parents and the state as a whole to keep the cost of student attendance from rising any more than absolutely necessary.”

Indiana Commission for Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers says she’ll reserve judgment on the proposal but adds her group generally doesn’t approve the use of fees as a way of generating income for campus projects.

“We’re reluctant for any fees, take aside any benefit that might be for this kind of fee and so when we make our recommendation on tuition and mandatory fees we look at those and see what the impact would be," Lubbers says.

The Institute for Community Sustainability is spearheading several green initiatives around ISU’s campus, including the installment of a wind-powered turbine which will supply electricity for residence halls.

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