Sustainability Programs at UAF

 In April 2009 the ASUAF student body approved a $20 fee per semester fee for all UAF students during the academic year for the next 10 years. Originally it was called the SIREN (Students Initiative for Renewable Energy Now) fee; the name was changed to the Student Sustainability Fee in 2009 for clarity. Impressed by the student initiative, in June 2009 Chancellor Brian Rogers agreed to match the fee.

To ensure student control of the money collected, a student sustainability board called the Review of Infrastructure, Sustainability and Energy (RISE) Board, was established. A Director and full-time administrative assistant were hired and a program was established under University & Student Advancement. Over the next five years over 50 sustainability programs and projects (primarily student projects) were funded in the areas of energy, waste reduction/recycling, transportation, food and education were created and grew.

As the budget landscape at UAF began to change the Chancellor’s match was reduced in 2015 and eventually repealed entirely in 2016. To ensure sustainability projects would continue at UAF, the RISE Board established the Green Revolving Fund. Over the next two years the program was restructured and found a new home in the Center of Student Engagement. In 2018 the ASUAF student body voted to make the fee and sustainability programming permanent. Today the program employs one non-student staff member and approximately 9 students to run a diverse array of programs including Recycling, Green Bikes, the UAF FreeStore, the Upcycle Annex, the Wood Center Food Pantry and Nanook Grown.