Referendum results

Student population votes green.

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Growing renewable energy use on campus was the most voted item on this year’s student president election ballot at 1500 votes, with 1200 of those votes in favor of the growth. However, a follow-up item on the referendum asked voters how much money they would want to be added to segregated fees to help expand the use of renewable energy on campus. The six suggested prices ranged from zero to over 100 dollars, and the majority of votes were one-third in favor of raising segregated fees by zero dollars. The voting results on the referendum do not mean that renewable energy won’t get any funding from segregated fees; however the student population has now shown that alternative funding methods are preferred.

These items were written as a collaboration of the sustainability office and student senate before they were added to the referendum by the Pioneer Involvement Center.

“The sustainability office worked with student governance on the exact wording then we put it on the referendum,” involvement coordinator of student organizations Becky Haus said.

This initial collaboration between university departments will set the tone for how complicated changes like increasing solar and wind power on a public campus will be.

Other items on the referendum asked voters about changing the bus routes and times around campus, which most voters chose to abstain from. Another item asked if smoking and vaping should have more restrictions on campus. That yielded mixed results from voters where a majority sided with having a smoke-free campus and another majority sided to allow vaping. The final item questioned the hours of academic buildings and if they should be extended. The majority of voted “yes” and agreed for extensions of the buildings to midnight. 

Now that the referendum has been voted on and a new student president has been elected, the items on the referendum will be acted upon by student governance in some way. The student body will continue their education and interests in the growth of renewable energy with the Earth Day Carnival this coming Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

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