Students must take pride in nature-friendly school

Spinnaker

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Football teams and Greek Rows – UNF doesn’t have the traditional college accessories that bring students together to stand proud for their university.

But it is unique.

And since UNF students might never have a football team to cheer for, they must recognize the unique values of the school they are a part of and support them.

The campus sits on a large nature preserve and has spent years to certify the campus as environmentally friendly.

The administration committed in 2006 to only construct buildings on campus that were built with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Certified Green Facility standards.

These standards include energy use, lighting, water and material use.

And constructing LEED certified buildings is not cheap. In fact, it costs 1 percent to 4 percent more to meet the standards for each building. But it was a cost the university found necessary.

“This campus is an environmental setting and our culture is of an environmental orientation,” President John Delaney said to the Jacksonville Business Journal after the construction of the first LEED certified building, the social sciences building. “Our buildings are here forever, so when you spread out the cost over years, we will more than cover the extra cost. It seems like an appropriate investment.”

While other universities fund football teams, UNF is spending more than $170 million to expand campus with the LEED-certified buildings – money well spent in order to unify the university into what it stands behind: the environment.

The administration is behind it, the buildings are in place, the money is there, but students just can’t seem to catch the vision.

One of the easiest ways to embrace this university is to keep it clean.

While the university strives to be environmentally friendly, students dump their trash on the ground, in the bushes and in the lakes.

The university placed 150 brown garbage and recycling bins around campus during the past year, each costing $825 – a price administrators and staff said is worth it.

“Everything we’re doing to be responsible stewards of the campus resources will save this university in the long run – consequently students,” said Chuck Hubbuch, assistant director of Physical Facilities in a recent Spinnaker article.

The administration is thinking of the students.

Each building is for the students. So students need to do their part in being responsible stewards.

Taking a second to pick up trash around the Green or the lake is a way to be good stewards.

It’s just a little deed here and there from each student that will make the campus succeed in its goal to be a unique Florida university – one all students can be
proud of.