The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

LEED standards unnecessary

Getting the UW-Eau Claire campus up to green standards is good. One would be hard pressed to find students who don’t want to contribute to the well being of the environment.

However, when going green is little more than an advertising ploy and a reason to gloat – especially when it costs a struggling university and estimated $500,000 – it loses its charm.

Thanks to the Student Senate shooting down a resolution last week, students and taxpayers may not have to foot the bill for the not-so-frugal LEED certification of the new student center.

For those in the dark on the issue, LEED certification is an internationally recognized green building system that focuses on energy savings and emissions reductions. Buildings that are LEED certified are checked at various points to make sure they continue to meet standards.

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LEED offers different tiers of certification, including – in order from green to greenest – certified, silver, gold and platinum.

According to the Student Senate, the student center will be built to between silver and gold standards.

If LEED certification is not sought, the money will remain in a non-structural fund that will pay for engineers, permits and the like for the Davies project.

We feel that there is no point in handing out a chunk of change that sizeable simply for recognition.

The university already knows what it takes to meet any of those standards and is making a conscious effort to do so, and that is commendable. But are we that desperate for praise, so much so that a pat on the back and a hand shake is worth a half-million dollars amidst budget cuts and talk of tuition hikes?

?We realize how great LEED certification would look to environmentally friendly freshmen picking out schools, to the community and to the UW System.

But now is not the time.

In a time that the administration claims desperate need for more funding for basic academic resources and in the era of “furlough Fridays” it is incomprehensible that that kind of spending can be justified by anyone.

Yet again, the administration needs to step back and seriously assess not only what the university’s true needs are, but how overspending is financially crippling the people who give them jobs.

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LEED standards unnecessary