Five people spoke at the May 16 Board of Trustees meeting on behalf of the Faculty Association’s proposal to decrease bus fare for Grand Rapids Community College students, faculty and staff.
Full time Mechanical and Architectural Design professor David Dye was the first to take the podium.
“I urge you to support this subsidy for The Rapid bus because of the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of Grand Rapids Community College,” Dye said. He told the board about the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) student club he advises that that began in 2010. The club promotes sustainability and studies “green” issues related to the campus.
Dye said Kendall College, Calvin College and Aquinas College already subsidize bus fare for students, faculty and staff. He stressed the importance of reducing the GRCC’s negative effects on the environment.
“Not only could this reduce our CO2 emission on campus, it could also reduce the numbers in the parking structure, and also the roads surrounding campus,” Dye said.
Following Dye, GRCC student and former USGBC president Trenida Charlton spoke personally on the subject.
“The first time I actually learned how to ride the bus my mom taught me,” Charlton said. “She showed me where to get on, where to transfer and where our destination was, which actually just happened to be GRCC.”
Charlton said people hear too much about the negative effects of pollution and not enough about the efforts people are taking to reduce it.
“I feel like this subsidy is a chance for GRCC to show that this is something that they care about,” Charlton said. “GRCC is not only a smart choice but it’s also an affordable choice for a lot of people, a great way to get an education but at a reasonable price.”
Charlton spends at least $42 a month on bus fare to and from GRCC. She stressed the financial issues of college students and how the subsidy would help greatly with that.
Also to speak was Student Services and Retention employee Travis Steffens who affirmed the previous comments.
After Faculty Association President Frederick Van Hartesveldt and Adjunct Instructor Amy Pattullo presented the proposal, the board members they would have to discuss the proposal with President Steven Ender, who was absent during most of the meeting.