Dr. Peters shares plans to go greenBy TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON, News Editor
It’s not easy being green, but Kentucky’s government is working hard to make it happen in the near future. On Feb. 17, Dr. Len Peters, head of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet in the Kentucky state government, visited the John L. Hill Chapel to discuss the Governor’s and the Cabinet’s energy proposals for the state. The presentation, entitled “Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future: Kentucky’s Seven-Point Strategy for Energy Independence,” outlined the state’s comprehensive energy plan that Governor Steve Beshear released on Nov. 20, 2008. The plan aims to put Kentucky on the path to energy self-reliance. It’s estimated that by 2025, Kentucky will need 40 percent more energy. The plan includes developing clean, reliable, affordable sources; improving energy security; reducing carbon dioxide emissions; diversifying Kentucky’s energy portfolio; and meeting the mounting energy needs of the state.
Dr. Peters emphasized the sense of urgency in putting the energy plan into action. According to Dr. Peters, the average age of energy production fleets in the state are about 35 to 40 years old, and have a lifetime of about 50 years. That means it will be nec-essary to replace 50 percent of Kentucky’s current energy fleet within the next 10 to 15 years. The plan calls for a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions, increased coal research and the creation of 40,000 jobs in the energy sector by 2025. Overall, the Cabinet wants to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, eliminate the need for imported oil and position Kentucky to address the imminent federal greenhouse gas emissions regulations.
Dr. Peters outlined the various strategies for accomplishing the goals set forth by the Governor and Cabinet. One key component is the Alternative Transportation Fuel Standard, that states that by 2025, 60 percent of transportation fuels in Kentucky will be derived from biofuels, coalbased liquids, electricity via hybrid engine technologies and compressed natural gases. It also includes improving the energy efficiency of Ky’s homes, buildings and transportation fleet, initiating aggressive carbon capture/ sequestration projects for coal-generated electricity in Ky, and examining the use of nuclear power for electricity generation. This energy plan is said to be in line with President Barack Obama’s, which calls for ensuring that 25 percent of America’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2025.
Crouch to visit dorms, answer questionsBy LYNNESY ROWLAND, Contributing Writer
The Student Government Association would like to inform students that President Crouch will be visiting all independent dorms this semester with an SGA representative. Come prepared with questions. Meetings will be in your lobby at 7pm. The SGA will be holding a forum on the students addressing faculty contracts and budget concerns. Students can submit ques-tions to firstname.lastname@example.org for administration to answer. This will be on March 4th at 6 p.m. in ASC 112. Also, President Crouch will beanswering questions in The Georgetonian from students in a column. Please submit questions to email@example.com.
When will President Crouch come answer your questions?
Anderson February 24
Knight February 25
Collier March 3
East March 4
Flowers March 5
Allen March 10
Pierce March 11
On Feb. 11, the Save Our Professors—Demand Accountability Facebook group hosted another orgnizational meeting in the Arnett Conference Room in the LRC. Approximately 25 people were in attendance, including current/former students, staff and faculty. Since the Jan. 22 meeting, Anna Wiederhold, Carrie Summers and Andi Wilhoitt held meetings with President Crouch, Dr. Todd Gambill and Dr. Rosemary Allen to discuss the group’s concerns for the faculty and budget. Group leaders also met with SGA President Lynnesy Rowland, who expressed an interest in organizing a question and answer session with Executive Cabinet members.
In the meeting, Wiederhold especially emphasized the importance of rewording questions that are being asked of administrators in order to receive more specific, productive answers. “We have heard the same justifications and explanations; if we want to move forward, we need to ask new questions,” she said, adding that fact-based inquires with objective answers would be the the most helpful type of questions. Another topic addressed in the meeting was the recent decision by the Board of Trustees to make about $1.3 million overall in cuts for the current fiscal year (which ends June 30). These include cuts from departments’ supply and expenses funds, hiring freezes and a cut from James Koeppe’s restricted fund, among other things. President Crouch took a voluntary 10 percent pay cut, which began January 1 and runs through June 30. All salaried staff are required to take three days vacation without pay, in addition to existing paid vacation time. The budget will be reevaluated in April, and more cuts are likely to be made for the next fiscal year.
Concerns were expressed with the unclear line items on the budget avaliable to the public, as well as the process by which money is obtained for donors. Students posed questions such as “Do donors maintain programs that they create, or does Georgetown College eventually pick up the bill?” “Why can’t donors be asked for money to meet the college’s basic needs, if they truly care about the future of GC?” The group also began brainstorming solutions for financial difficulties. One student in attendance suggested reevaluating the work study system and the use of student workers to do work for less pay. A professor brought up adding sports with lower over-head costs to draw students, or going down a sports division. Wiederhold devoted time to discussing the past and how it pertains to the current financial situation that the college is faced with.
The administration describes the current allocation of funds, along with fundraising efforts, an “an investment in the future of the institution,” according to Wiederhold. She cited the 1996 construction projects of the Wilson Art Building, LRC and East Campus that left the college in significant debt, stating that even when faced with obstacles such as the loss of an outside partnership to help fund East Campus, the college went forward with plans without major modification. Similar projects like the Equine Village and Education Building might attract new students and donors, but Wiederhold suggested that the present financial difficulties should cause the college to stop and reevaluate their strategies, focusing on sustaining programs that are already in place. “In the past few weeks, we have managed to have a lot of constructive conversation around this issue,” said Wiederhold. “What has become apparent is that students, faculty and staff are all asking many of the same questions and voicing the same concerns.If we want to move closer to truth and transparency, we need to ask our questions in a new way. “If we collaborate as a college community, our demands carry greater force than if they are brought forth by individuals. I believe that with all the creative energy on a college campus, we can surely come up with a solution to our current financial crisis short of firing personnel.”