Board of Trustees approves Energy Transition Plan despite student protest
The MSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Energy Transition Plan at its Friday meeting, prompting many students to express their disapproval and shout over board members.
The plan underlines the university’s mission to reach 100 percent renewable energy at some point in the future, depending on when technologies to support it become available. Forty percent of MSU’s energy will be powered by renewable energy by 2030, according to the plan.
“We spent a lot of time looking at energy plans from other corporations and other universities,” said Fred Poston, vice president for finance and operations during the meeting. “I believe this plan sets aggressive goals.”
The board then unanimously approved the plan despite numerous signs held by students along the perimeter of the room to encourage them to vote otherwise. One such sign read, “Clean Coal = Dirty Lie.”
Students then proceeded to shout over the board to say, “Today the MSU Board of Trustees and President Simon have failed students and community members.”
English senior and president of MSU Beyond Coal Talya Tavor said during the meeting that student groups wish to see the end of coal use on campus as soon as possible and wants the plan to provide an actual end date.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said what she and others heard during the meeting is nothing new as officials have met with them to create this plan.
“I think we are advocating for the same broad goals, we just have slightly different ways of getting there,” she said.
The board also unanimously approved an almost 4 percent increase in room and board rates for the next academic year. The cost for a double occupancy room in a residence hall plus a silver meal plan will cost $8,476 during the upcoming academic year if approved. During the 2011-12 academic year, the rate was $8,154.
Construction projects received approval to proceed, including renovations $1.2 million renovations to the Administration Building and $4.5 million renovations to the College of Music auditorium. The authorization to proceed on a $5.1 million anaerobic digester on south campus also was approved.
During the meeting, Heather Swain also was appointed vice president for communication and brand strategy.
Check Monday’s edition of The State News for the full story about the MSU Board of Trustees’ Friday meeting.