BYLAWS OF THE CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY FUND

The mission of the Campus Sustainability Fund is to create a sustainable campus and foster an environmentally conscious University culture by funding student-led projects that lessen the University of Washington’s environmental impact.

Section 1.1 – Powers and Voting

The CSF Committee (hereafter, “the Committee”) has authority over the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF). A simple majority of the Committee’s full membership is required to allocate funds and make any other official decisions, except as provided for elsewhere in these bylaws.

Section 1.2 – Member Number & Representation

The Committee shall consist of seven student voting members at least three (3) ex-officio, non-voting advisors, as follows:

Voting Members

  • 1 student to be appointed by the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) Senate;  
  • 3 students to be appointed by the ASUW Board of Directors;
  • 2 students to be appointed by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate; and
  • 1 student to be appointed by the Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC).

Non-Voting, Ex-Officio Members

  • 1 to be appointed by the Faculty Senate;
  • 1 to be appointed by the Associate Vice President of Facilities Services;
  • 1 to be appointed by the Provost.
  • 1 UW Sustainability representative
  • Additional members as described below

Students from other academic departments and campus units partnering with the CSF can be appointed as Non-Voting Ex-Officio Members (Students) with Committee approval. The ex-officio members of the Committee shall attend Committee meetings as non-voting members, and the Committee can invite experts/guests to provide information and expertise as needed.

Section 1.3 – Duties of the Campus Sustainability Fund Committee

The Committee shall consist of seven student voting members and at least three (3) ex-officio, non-voting advisors, as follows:

  • Attend weekly Committee meetings;
  • Attend Committee retreats on a quarterly basis or as scheduled;
  • Review project applications and determine allocation of funds;
  • Oversee the annual process of reapplication for funding to the Services and Activities Fee (SAF) Committee and other funding sources;
  • Evaluate CSF operations & processes annually (see Section 5.4);
  • Lead campus and community outreach to lessen campus environmental impact and to engage the student body.
  • Devoting at least three hours per month outside of meeting and retreat times to promoting the CSF’s goals, mission, and its projects to the campus community is strongly encouraged.
  • Members should report back to their appointing bodies on a quarterly basis, or as requested, regarding the actions of the CSF.

Apart from his/her normal function as part of the Committee, a member has no individual authority.

Section 1.4 – Officers

The Committee shall have two officers, a Chair and a Vice Chair:

  • The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Committee, acting as facilitator and holding meetings to the agenda in a timely fashion. The Chair will write and send meeting agendas to all Committee members at least 24 hours prior to each meeting. The Chair must be a student member of the Committee. The Chair will receive a quarterly stipend of $333.33 for a gross total of $1,000 over the course of the academic year. It will be the duty of the Chair to serve as the “face” of the CSF on campus and to work with the CSF Coordinator to develop and present reports to the Services & Activities Fee (SAF) Committee as required. These reports should include a brief description of all projects funded and the reasons for which they were approved
  • The Vice Chair will assist the Chair with his/her duties. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall assume all duties of the Chair. The Vice Chair must be a student member of the Committee. The Vice Chair shall also serve as Committee Clerk and take and distribute minutes after each meeting, or appoint other Committee members or staff to take and distribute minutes as appropriate. The Vice Chair will assist with reports to the SAF Committee.

At the beginning of the newly appointed Committee in the fall, the Committee will accept nominations for Chair and Vice Chair. Candidates for Chair will be selected first, by majority vote of the Committee. After the Chair has been selected, the Committee shall select the Vice Chair by majority vote. Defeated candidates for Chair are eligible to run for Vice Chair, and candidates for both positions are eligible to vote in these elections.

Section 1.5 – Terms of Office

Each member of the Committee shall be appointed for one academic year beginning in fall quarter:

  • Student terms will begin the first day of appointment starting Fall quarter and will continue for the academic year.
  • Student Officer terms: The Chair and Vice Chair will hold office for one academci year.
  • Faculty& Staff terms will run from the first day of fall quarter for 1 year. If an ex-officio advisory changes offices during their term, their appointing office is responsible for finding a replacement.

Student Committee members may serve no more than two consecutive terms, but the total number of terms they may serve is not limited.

Section 1.5.1 - Interim Advisory Committee

In Spring of an academic year, the CSF Committee will self-nominate and appoint Committee members to constitute an interim advisory committee to serve during the summer months between academic years and until the complete establishment of the subsequent year’s CSF Committee. The interim advisory committee cannot vote on any official business.
 
The interim advisory committee will convene monthly and be available by email or phone as needed to review current project and fund activities and advise CSF staff on pressing matters. It is required that interim advisory committee members have served on the CSF committee the previous academic year, but not obligatory that they serve in the subsequent academic year.

Section 1.6 – Member Qualifications

All student members of the Committee must be registered (full- or part-time) students at the UW Seattle campus during their term of office and be enrolled through spring quarter. Staff and faculty members of the Committee must be currently employed by the UW Seattle campus.

Section 1.7 – Member Replacement

A Committee member (including officer positions) may be removed by unanimous vote of the other Committee members for unjustifiable absence from three or more Committee meetings or two or more Committee retreats, conflict of interest, or other appropriate reasons. In the event that a Committee member is removed or resigns, the original appointing body will select a replacement. The new Committee member will serve the remainder of the original member’s term.

Section 1.8 – Conflict of Interest

The Committee shall conduct itself in such a way that conflicts of interest are minimized and all potential conflicts of interest are made public. Each Committee member must declare connection(s) previous and past to groups if said group is presenting LOIs or Full Proposals to the Committee. Where appropriate, the Committee member is required to recuse himself/herself from voting on grant allocations for projects proposed by groups with which they are affiliated. For such votes, the “full Committee membership” as defined for voting majority purposes shall be decreased to account for the Committee member's recusal.

Section 2.1 – Duties of the CSF Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator

One 0.5 FTE Graduate Student Assistant (GSA) CSF Coordinator will manage the operations of the CSF. The CSF Coordinator exists to meet the needs of the Committee and the CSF, and to ensure the prudent management of the monies allocated by the SAF Committee. The CSF Coordinator reports to the UW Sustainability, but will also take substantial direction from the Committee.

The general function of the CSF Coordinator is to:

  • Assist in project implementation;
  • Coordinate follow-up reporting with funded projects;
  • Create and coordinate transparency systems for the Fund;
  • Build relationships with students, faculty, and staff across campus;
  • Work with students, faculty, and staff to develop new and innovative project ideas;
  • Provide economic, ecological, and social analysis to support the Committee’s decision-making process
  • In consultation with the Committee, coordinate the annual SAF reapplication process
  • Facilitate the Annual Evaluation Process.  Reference Section 5.4

There will be one 0.25 FTE undergraduate Outreach Coordinator. The Outreach Coordinator exists to engage students in CSF, and to build the capacity of the student body to take part in CSF projects. This position reports to the CSF Coordinator or other appropriate UW Sustainability staff member. While the position is primarily 0.25 FTE, the staff will work to increase available hours to the position as the staff member, UW Sustainability, and CSF Committee deem appropriate or necessary..

The general function of the Outreach Coordinator is to:

  • Perform outreach to students and registered student organizations (RSOs);
  • Update and maintain the CSF website;
  • Provide technical assistance to students proposing projects;
  • Meet with students by appointment or during publically scheduled drop-in hours to support students proposing projects;
  • Provide general support to the Committee and the CSF Coordinator
  • Assist the CSF Coordinator with the Annual Evaluation Process.  Reference Section 5.4
  • Assist the CSF Coordinator with the annual SAF reapplication process

The CSF Coordinator and/or Outreach Coordinator are able to appoint interns to specific projects as they see a need. Interns are primarily volunteer positions, though paid positions may be created using funds either internal or external to the CSF, and as the CSF Committee suggests. Interns can be appointed through an open hire and interview process, or through informal discussions between CSF staff and a party interested in a specific project or position. Paid positions must arise as a result of a competitive hiring process, while unpaid positions can rely on a more informal process as previously described. Committee members cannot take paid or unpaid intern positions.

The two Coordinators will work closely together with the expectation that these roles will be augmented as necessary by the Committee.

Section 2.2 – Hiring & Evaluating the CSF Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator

The Coordinators will be hired via open recruitment by UW Sustainability. Candidates must understand and agree to comply with all of the CSF bylaws and supporting documents. The Committee will appoint at least one of its members to the hiring team of each position. The Committee will appoint at least one of its members to the hiring team of each position.

At least one member of the Committee will be part of the annual evaluation (Section 5.4) of each position, and the Committee may at any time recommend that UW Sustainability dismiss the CSF Coordinator or Outreach Coordinator in response to poor performance. Only UW Sustainability has the authority to dismiss these positions.

Section 3.1A – Operational Budget for Fund Coordination

The Committee, UW Sustainability, and the two staff members shall strive to keep administrative and coordination costs below 20% of the CSF’s total budget. Spending within the budget allocated for Fund coordination must be approved by the CSF Coordinator (after the Committee has approved the budget); spending above that limit must be approved by the Committee. All spending must be done in accordance with all Finance & Facilities, University of Washington, and Washington State protocols and regulations.

Section 3.1B – Staff Compensation

Funds for the total compensation of the CSF Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator are allocated preliminarily as part of the annual SAF reallocation process, and adjusted once SAF allocates a final amount annually. The amount of the CSF Coordinator’s compensation will be in line with union and University of Washington requirements, including appropriate tuition waiver. These funds are to be withdrawn from the Operational Budget.

Section 3.2 – The Projects Budget

The vast majority of funds awarded to the CSF will be earmarked for projects. It is highly encouraged that projects are structured to include as much student participation as possible, and they are required to include outreach and education components. If additional funding is required that exceeds the initial allocation, the project leader is required to report to the Committee with a detailed request, which requires approval by the Committee.

Section 3.4 – Outreach and Events Fund

The CSF will hold less than 3% of the total budget for the use of funding outreach activities and special events, such as the annual Sustainability Summit. Spending within the 3% of the budget allocated for outreach and events must be approved by the Outreach Coordinator and CSF Coordinator (after the Committee has approved the budget); spending above that limit must be approved by the Committee. All spending must be done in accordance with all Finance & Facilities, University of Washington, and Washington State protocols and regulations.

Section 3.4 – Large Projects Budget

The CSF will maintain a Large Projects Budget, separate from the Projects Budget, to support any project requests that amount to greater than $90,000. The Large Projects Budget will be grown by incremental percentages annually at the discretion of the committee. Annual increases to the Large Projects Budget should not exceed 10% of the given fiscal year’s SAF award.

Section 4.1 – Allocation of Funds by the Committee

As noted in Section 1.1, all allocation of funds to submitted projects must be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting Committee membership. The Committee may elect to fund only a portion of a proposal.

Section 4.2 – Project Requirements

Projects requesting funds will be evaluated based on how they address the following:

  • Environmental Impact: Projects must reduce the University’s environmental impact and/or create a more sustainable campus. The Fund will prioritize projects with measurable impact on, but not limited to, the following: carbon emissions, energy use, water use, waste, living systems and biodiversity, pollutants, toxins, and impacts from the culture and discussion of sustainability at UW.
  • Student Leadership & Involvement: Projects that demonstrate a substantial degree of student leadership or student involvement will be prioritized, as will projects initiated by students.
  • Education, Outreach, & Behavior Change:Projects must include educational and outreach components that help cultivate an aware and engaged campus community.
  • Feasibility, Accountability, & Sustainability: Applicants must demonstrate that they have or can attain the technical knowledge, necessary approvals, and project management skills to complete projects successfully. The Fund encourages the use of a faculty or staff mentor, appropriate department support, and/or a line item in the budget for project management. CSF funds must be used in a responsible manner—to be determined by the Committee. Projects requiring ongoing maintenance or staffing not funded by the CSF should demonstrate a plan to meet long-term needs.
  • Applicant Eligibility: The applicant must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • UW Seattle registered student WITH UW DEPARTMENT/ENTITY SPONSOR (this must be a campus entity/department or Registered Student Organization with a budget number who can administer the awarded funds)
    • UW Seattle Registered Student Organization (For student groups of five or more who would like to become registered as an RSO, please visit http://depts.washington.edu/sao/rso_register.php)
    • UW Seattle Faculty
    • UW Seattle Staff

Section 4.3 – Funding Preferences

The Committee and staff will prioritize proposed projects based on the following considerations:

  • Preference will be given to projects that align with the UW’s commitment to sustainability (reference the University’s Climate Action Plan here: https://green.uw.edu/inform/uw-climate-action-plan). Preference will be given to projects with a strong student-participation component;
  • Preference will be given to projects that can obtain matching funds from sources other than the CSF, or to projects that are able to repay the CSF through a revolving loan fund or other mechanisms;
  • Preference will be given to projects impacting UW Seattle sustainability “closer to home.”
  • Preference will be given to projects that are complete, comprehensive, and ready for implementation at the time of proposal rather than feasibility studies or pilot projects. Any group requesting funding for a feasibility study or pilot project must include the following components in their proposed project:
    • The proposal must include an actionable second phase. The second phase must, to the best knowledge of the group, be realistic to implement given that their study shows it to be feasible.
    • Whether or not the study or pilot shows the second phase to be feasible, the project must result in a written report that summarizes all relevant findings and is submitted to the CSF. The CSF may use this information to aid and inform future projects in whatever way they see fit.
  • For projects containing budget items related to student funding:
    • CSF prefers to fund time and labor expended by UW students working on CSF projects where and when that funding supports the creation of a formal internship under a Faculty member and/or Campus Unit.
    • Preference will be given to projects that clearly and transparently explain the project tasks to be completed during any paid time funded by the CSF. In addition, it is strongly encouraged that projects include in their budgets any available information that explains and justifies the requested amount of paid time funded by the CSF.
  • In considering projects that are undertaken by campus departments (whether in close partnership with students or led primarily by staff), CSF prefers to use its funds strategically, investing in one-time transformational interventions in a campus operation, rather than funding routine operations or planned near-term innovations. In considering projects undertaken by campus departments, preference will be given to projects that demonstrate they are not likely to be undertaken in the near future without CSF funding, and are likely to be financially and operationally sustainable over the long term.
  • CSF recommends that projects over $30,000 complete a feasibility study or submit a previously completed feasibility study..
    • Projects may also justify why they do not require a feasibility study.
    • CSF reserves the right to request a feasibility study from any project.

Section 4.5  - Funding Restrictions

  • CSF will not fund time and labor expended by UW faculty working on CSF projects.
  • While CSF supports celebratory and recognition events, the CSF will not specifically fund food, drinks, or merchandise as part of project budgets.
  • Line item requests for travel funding are not encouraged, but will be considered on a case by case basis.

Section 4.6  - Small Projects Process

  • Projects asking for less than $1,000 are welcome to submit a request through the Small Projects process on a rolling basis throughout the school year. Small Projects must submit a Letter of Intent form to be considered for funding in the Small Projects Process; these projects will be evaluated based on this LOI. Small Project LOIs must contain a detailed budget and timeline.
    • The Committee will review these LOIs and decide within two weeks (barring school holidays or breaks).The Committee will award Small Projects up to a total of $5,000 per year through the Small Projects process. This $5,000 will come from the General Projects fund, and is not a separate fund.
    • The Committee reserves the right to determine that a project submitted through the Small Projects process should be moved to the full proposal process.

Section 4.6  - Other Rules Governing CSF Funds

  • Funds allocated to a project that has not started with 6 months of the original project timeline may be rescinded by the CSF Committee and reallocated for future projects. Projects may apply for an extension if they wish to amend their timeline.
  • CSF funds are not to be used or reallocated for purposes other than those described in this document and the funded project proposal.
  • Fund recipients must keep a full accounting of their expenditures and report the status of their budget and project to the CSF Coordinator on a monthly basis. At the end of project, fund recipients will be expected to submit a full report of the impact their project has had on student leadership, student volunteerism, students’ awareness of the issue(s) addressed by the project, and campus sustainability.
  • CSF funds shall not be used for research projects unless such projects include an actionable component.
  • Requests for additional funding can be considered on an ad-hoc basis by the CSF committee.

Section 5.1 – Accountability to the Student Body

The CSF shall be accountable to the student body to the greatest extent possible, and therefore shall:

  • Make its records available to the public, including project funding decisions;
  • Utilize creative mechanisms to engage the larger student body in setting funding priorities; and
  • Publically post the end product of the Annual Evaluation Process.

Section 5.2 – Accountability of Projects

The coordinator will keep the Committee updated on the status of the Fund’s active projects. If a project is deemed by the Committee to not be making satisfactory progress based on the project timeline the Committee can determine a course of action on a case by case basis. Project close-out reporting must include a budget detailing the spending of all funds and the amount of student involvement. Upon review of the report, the CSF Coordinator shall judge whether the funds were spent within the scope of the project. If the CSF Coordinator feels the funds were spent outside of the project scope, the CSF Coordinator may recommend that the Committee require return of the funds.
 
The Committee reserves the right to retract funding, and re-evaluate projects, if satisfactory progress is not being made based on the project timeline or projects undergo significant changes in scope as determined by a vote and deliberation by the Committee.

Section 5.3 – Records and Reports

The CSF must keep:

  • Minutes of all Committee meetings indicating their time and place, the names of those present, and the proceedings thereof;
  • Adequate and correct books and records of CSF accounts;
  • Record of projects selected each year and the funds allocated to each;
  • Reports made back to the CSF on completed projects and all annual reports received from projects with ongoing benefits; and
  • Copies of all annual reports which the CSF has issued.

Section 5.4 – Annual Evaluation

The Committee and the Coordinators are responsible for a comprehensive Annual Evaluation Process to review the performance, structure, and goals of the Fund. This may suggest an amendment to these bylaws, or a major change to the structure of the Fund (See Article 7 for the process to change these bylaws). To the extent possible, this evaluation will be completed before reapplication to the SAF Committee, and its recommendations will be incorporated into the SAF request. The Committee is responsible for formulating the line-item budget allocations for the following year under the new SAF allocations, and developing a Memorandum of Understanding with UW Sustainability.

Section 6.1 – SAF Reapplication

The CSF Coordinator will determine a budget request and budget questionnaire for the SAF Committee that is in line with CSF’s mission and requirements (Reference Section 4.2). The Committee must approve the proposed budget and questionnaire language before their submission to the SAF Committee. The CSF Coordinator and Committee representatives will be responsible for attending the SAF orientation and budget hearings. They will be jointly responsible for advocating for the CSF budget and mission statement.

Section 6.2 – Funding from the other Campus Entities

To the extent possible, the` CSF will work to develop strategic partnerships with other groups on campus for funding and in-kind support. A Memorandum of Understanding between the CSF and the relevant campus entity providing additional funding will be developed to outline the nature of this relationship and any stipulations.

Section 6.3 – Donations & Grants Received

Donations & grants received by the CSF will be allocated at the Committee’s discretion unless otherwise requested by the donor.

 

A two-thirds (2/3) vote by the voting members of the existing Committee may amend, create, or repeal portions of these bylaws, unless doing so would materially and adversely affect the mission of the CSF.