Lockridge apologizes to club member in email announcing allocation of Sustainability Action Fund

Fund allocated to clubs Monday after being held back for eight months

AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge.

On Monday, the AMS Sustainability Action Fund was allocated after being held back for eight months. Collected through a $3.00 student fee, the $22,000 fund was delayed through the summer and fall granting periods. As a result, club members had to fundraise their projects by themselves. 

AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Palmer Lockridge addressed the delayed allocation in an email to Zoe Walter, former Vice-President of the Society for Conservation Biology, on Monday.

Walter told The Journal last week that her club sought $1,000 from the fund in July of 2017 for a project that has since been completed. When funds weren’t granted, the Society for Conservation Biology raised the money on their own accord.

In his email to Walter, Lockridge wrote, “My apologies for the delay in granting, I hope that the funds will provide meaningful support to your project moving forwards.”

“The grant is primarily focused to help groups with costs incurred in order to run events and support projects that promote sustainability on and off campus,” Lockridge continued.

Unfortunately for most clubs, the funds come too late for the projects they were initially intended for. Members from several clubs on and off campus have pointed to the dissolution of the AMS Commission on Environmental Affairs in early 2017 as a major factor in the fund’s delays. 

Liam Dowling, the last Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, told The Journal he “feared that by removing a specific position dedicated to environmental advocacy, the topic would fail to be a priority and ultimately would suffer, which is what I believe we are seeing now.”

“During the dissolution I had concerns about taking the commission and allocating it into already saturated positions. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to express those concerns since I was censored by last year’s executive,” Dowling remarked.

Dowling said that when he was the chair of the Sustainability Action Fund (SAF) granting committee, he was focused on efficiency. “The whole process took approximately three weeks after the application deadline,” he said.

Last week, Lockridge told The Journal one aspect of SAF’s delays stemmed from difficulty finding a replacement faculty member to sit on the committee. Dowling explained that when he was tasked with finding a faculty member to sit on the committee, he did so and allocated the summer period on time. 

“In terms of why it was allocated to the [Vice-President (University Affairs)], there wasn’t specific rationale other than the goal was to ‘ensure sustainability was prioritized at the highest level’ being the executive,” Dowling said.

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