The Sustainable Hawk Fund has been successfully running for two years at Laurier and will continue into the winter term of 2017. Any student, staff, or faculty member can take part in the project if they believe that there is an area of sustainability on campus in need of improvement.
Lisa Keys, Aacting Mmanager of Ggrounds and Custodial Servicescustodial services at Laurier Brantford, recalls the process which the applicants go through.
“The process is that groups put in their requests for funding, and they outline what their projects are, and there is a panel. Tyler Plante has a group that reviews the projects and then the funding goes to or gets distributed based on their request that was approved,” said Keys.
Tyler Plante, the Ooutreach and Pprogram Ccoordinator for the Ssustainability Ooffice and Physical Resources, is in charge of the project and explained that the Sustainable Hawk Fund is “a program run by the sustainability office where we have dedicated a pool of funding to support student, staff and faculty-led projects that benefit sustainability on our campus,” said Plante.
Last year the Brantford campus experienced a change involving the bathrooms.
“[Last] year [a] group of students wanted to look at the accessible washrooms signage around campus as well as any washrooms that are single use washrooms. So instead of male and/or female it would be nonbinary washroom signage, as well as accessibility,” said Keys.
“The money comes from the operating budget from our sustainability office, and in terms of how and where it goes, it depends on the applications that come in. We are currently in our second year of the program. The first year we had about 22 or 23 applications come in. The pool of money we got to give is $20 thousand … we had a lot of interest in the program and we ended up funding two of the programs last year that came in. This year we’ve expanded the program to two application periods annually, one in November and one on March 31st, upcoming, and we’ll see what applications come in for these periods” said Plante.
The bathroom project last year was a success. As of 2017, 33 washrooms around the Brantford campus had been changed for everyone to use.
“The students did a little bit of a survey in which buildings would meet the criteria. The accessible washroom signage was a little bit inconsistent around campus. Some had just the accessibility symbol with the word washroom, other ones actually had a male or a female with the washroom. Now instead of having a male or a female we are simply putting a symbol of a toilet and the accessible symbol with the word washroom as well as in braille,” said Keys.
Not everything is allowed to be a part of this project. It’s all about sustainability and what your project has to do with it.
“When we talk about sustainability on campus at Laurier it gives you a very vague meaning … When we talk about sustainability we look at factors such as environmental sustainability on campus, social sustainability as well as economics sustainability. So we look at all those things, we look at applications and screen it to see if it would benefit to those three areas,” said Plante.
As of November there were six projects that had been chosen for the Sustainable Hawk Fund, one of them already in effect at Brantford.
“We have a faculty member in Brantford, Peter Farrugia, who had a community leader come in and speak to his class about food sustainability, and the speaker was the owner and operator of a community focused cafe from Hamilton. She came in the class and spoke about different types of business models to positively affect sustainability at the community level. So she actually already came into class. The main thing to notice is that that is part of the program,” said Plante.