Time: 5:00 pm

Present Ani Kameenui, Leila Parker, Laura Hmelo, Rachel Smit, Phil Camill, Dennis Easley, Dale Jamieson, Richard Strong, Steve Kelly

Secretary: Rachel Smit

Smit presented an agenda with handouts attached.

Since Strong was not present at first, Kelly began the meeting by discussing the reason for the make-up of this first committee. In short, the structure of Williams’ committee provided the basis for the present committee because the Dartmouth/Middlebury models were too unwieldy – in other words, too many people were involved. Kelly said that the reason that this committee has gotten off the ground was because of Smit’s work. Kelly gave a brief history of the ENTS fifth-year internship and reiterated that the College has decided to provide funding for this position continuing into the future because the College values the work that Smit has done this year (?)

Kelly brought up the idea that in the future, the fifth-year intern might be able to serve on the Northfield Environmental Quality Commission, to serve as a link to the wider community. Easley and Jamieson concurred that this would be an excellent idea.

Kelly returned the discussion to the topic of the committee structure. It was generally agreed that having co-chairs, with one of them being a student, is a good idea. Smit made the point that having a staff person, as opposed to a faculty member, be the other co-chair, might be a good idea. Jamieson pointed out that the staff person, as someone in a position to implement the ideas generated by the committee, makes sense as co-chair.

In Strong’s absence, it was decided that Strong would be a good co-chair.

Easley mentioned a landscape committee that had worked successfully. ?????

Discussion then revolved around whether there should be an additional person from facilities on this committee, such as Wayne Beierman. Easley suggested that there might be two staff people on the committee, and one of them could rotate, depending on the particular focus of the committee.

Dale addressed the fact that the way we fill out the committee depends on what we see the purpose of the group being. He said that he sees this committee as not just a place where various policies/plans get reviewed (in a reactionary way), but as a place where new and creative ideas could be generated. He wants the group to provide a sort of vision. In his mind, it is all the more important that the membership on the committee remain as stable as possible.

Smit pointed out that group dynamics are very important – another rationale for a more stable membership.

Jamieson said that Max Wilson (the future fifth-year intern) should begin attending meetings, so that there is as much continuity as possible. He also pointed out that in terms of having 2 versus 3 staff people on the committee, it would be good to have three – because 2/3 attendance is much different from 1/2 attendance.

Kameenui brought conversation back to the idea of the main goals of the committee. She reiterated that she wants the committee to be proactive as opposed to reactive. She said that the original vision was to have this be a place that funneled student/community concerns. Strong shows up. Introductions all around. Kelly brings the meeting back to the agenda at hand. The question of the role of co-chair is discussed. It was decided that the role of the co-chairs is to set the agenda and call the meetings.

How terms will work was the next question. Students have to use the CSA cycle, whereas faculty have to use the faculty cycle. Jamieson said that he wants to see membership be for two years, so that there is continuity from year to year. For students, Kelly said that an incoming senior should be co-chair, with the incoming junior taking over the next year. Kameenui and Parker will decide between themselves who will serve as co-chair.

Strong said that he would contact Wayne Beierman about being on the committee.

Smit asked about the final faculty person. Jamieson suggested that Vig should step in right now, since he will serve on the committee next year. Then, another faculty member can be appointed next year as the third faculty member.

Camill said that he would pressure Cathy Andell into making sure that he stays on the EAC as opposed to being assigned to another committee.

Kelly suggested that the committee discuss which issues that we want to frame.

Hmelo said that new construction on campus was a top priority for students.

Kameenui asked if we are following the Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide for the new student housing. Strong responded that he had set up a meeting the next week to go over the Design Guide scoring sheet with the new housing team.

Kameenui said that reducing paper use is also a top priority. She said that getting the kiosk ready (that CSA has been working on) was very slow going. Easley said that while he won’t have anything to do with the interior kiosk, it would be relatively easy to make the Willis kiosk more functional.

Kelly suggested that we could build interest in the Willis kiosk, even though students don’t typically check it right now. He asked the committee how to get buy-in from all the departments.

Kameenui told the history of the paper reduction movement on campus. Most recently, students have had to go to each individual department to ask them not to stuff mailboxes. Career Center has been the first to put out a box in Sayles. But it would be better if it was something that everyone always checked.

Easley pointed out that the Willis kiosk could easily be a dispensary as well. Kameenui said that the frustrating thing is having to go to all the departments individually and asking them to change. Kelly said that she should talk to Sam Patterson about sending out an email to all departments.

As for the all-campus email process – we are getting there. The process is slow because it is easy to make mistakes. What has been decided is that the Dean of students will process all requests for posting to students. The Dean of the College will process all request for postings to faculty. The president will make the all on all-campus mailings. The problem is what to do with people who don’t read email. Another problem is that the College simply doesn’t know the effect of so many emails on the network.

Kelly pointed out that he has led the way in getting all campus committee minutes published on the web – making it very difficult to get paper copy! Kelly said that the EAC committee minutes could either go on the VP Webster or the Facilities website.

Discussion returned to other issues that the committee wants to address.

Kelly suggested Strong’s idea of turning off all lights in pop machines. How much energy savings? We are not sure. He said that this should really be a CSA issue. Strong could help. One way is to put pressure on Coca-Cola, Inc. (???)

Jamieson said that if we are still brainstorming, he would like to put indoor air quality on the list of our priorities. Kelly responded by saying that the music hall has already been tested because of people with allergies. So we know that we have the means to do this testing.

Jamieson said that another issue he is concerned with is parking lots.

Strong responded by discussing the variety of ways that parking lots can be better constructed so that they do not increase ground-water runoff. For example, holding ponds, cistern systems, or retaining water on the site.

Jamieson said that his primary concern with parking lots is the need for parking. For example the existence of parking lots next to the Rec Center encourages people to drive there. Does increased parking have to accompany every new building?

Strong responded that in part this is a zoning issue. Kelly added that parking is an issue that everyone gets hammered on. And this is precisely where we should look to this committee.

Jamieson asked about parking lots that accompany the new student housing.

Kelly said that we are required to build them. The parking lot will be across the street, next to the Cannon. They are considering making two holding ponds and channeling traffic across the street between the two ponds. Kelly also mentioned that we are taking parking away from other areas – for example they plan to take out the parking lot between Evans and …..?

Kelly also mentioned that the city as a downtown development committee. It would be nice to have a voice on the parking issue.

Easley mentioned that the city has driven us a great deal. Parking lots cost a lot of money, so it would be easier not to build them.

Jamieson suggested that Carleton can probably come up with win-win situations to convince the city that we don’t need to keep building new parking lots. Kelly agreed that this is a good strategy.

Easley pointed out that the school has very vocal neighbors that resent people parking in their neighborhoods.

Kameenui said that another student priority is getting an College environmental mission statement.

Kelly said that we would need to look into the politics of this. Everybody agreed that they like the mission statement of Middlebury’s environmental committee. The first concern on the list is “to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all who live and work on the College campus.”

(Back to the question of indoor air quality.) Camill pointed out that Deborah Gross does this for a living. Jamieson asked how much of the hardware do we have? It would be great to get instruments that could be used curricularly and for self-monitoring.

Camill said that he has two things to say. 1) He is writing an NSF grant the includes requests for lab improvements. Some of the necessary instruments for monitoring the College’s resource use, indoor air quality, etc., are feasible to ask for. 2) He would like to see Carleton build a building like Oberlin’s, that is a net energy exporter.

Kelly responded that he has a dream – that Parr house or Farm house be turned into completely sustainable housing units – with photovoltaics, composting toilets, etc. The Arb office could be put in temporary buildings closer to the Arb. He asked it there are grants that we could write for this?

Camill suggested that we contact rich Alumnus.

Kelly said that we are dealing with a multi-stage plan, as outlined in the 21st Century Report. After the current building projects are over, we will begin a phase of renovation, and also looking at possibilities for new building projects.

Jamieson said that we (this committee) need to be a part of the development of these plans, because time passes so quickly.

Kelly said that the strategic plan which was updated (last year?) is this: 1) expanding the library, and 2) building a new music and drama center.

Smit said that she was concerned about the top-down versus bottom-up decision-making and to what extent this committee could affect things like the time-line of projects. For example, a big impediment to improving the new town houses is the pace at which the project must proceed. She asked: how can we really change things when that means trying new things, which takes time?

Kelly said that colleges have to be lean and mean, to a certain extent (?)

Camill said that this is exactly why the “sustainable Parr House” model would be a good thing – a way to test everything out, to prove that it is feasible and give people practice building this way.

Smit asked if there is anything that could be done on the new student housing issue.

Jamieson said that we shouldn’t focus on current building projects, which have mostly been developed already. Instead we should focus on future building projects. Maybe we can find one or two significant things that we can change about the new student housing. He went on to wonder if there might need to be other institutional changes (regarding Smit’s point). He said that the EAC shouldn’t be surprised by new projects.

Easley pointed out that staff have considerable input into the development of plans, including setting the time-line. He thinks that the EAC will be able to influence plans by influencing the staff that sit on the committee.

The committee decided to try and meet between 2-3 on Mondays, the next meeting being May 8.