In Fall 2006, Kathe Winkler-Lowe, Cypress Sigman and Lauren DeWitt, all members of the Student Science Association formed a subgroup called the BCC Energy Action Team (EAT). The purpose of the group was to have BC students self assess a fee that would be used by the campus to purchase 100% green energy from Puget Sound Energy.
In 2007, the Energy Action team led a ballot initiative to get a sense of how many students would support the fee and collected signatures on a petition to support the implementation of the fee. Through the persistence of EAT members, the ballot and petition showed that there was a large grassroots support for such a fee.
In 2007-8, the original EAT proposal evolved into something slightly different. Lauren DeWitt
(ASG Environmental Rep, 2007-8) and Joseph Peltier (ASG President, 2007-8) rewrote the original proposal to create the Student Environment and Sustainability Fee. This fee was designed to fund not just green energy, but also any campus sustainability projects that the students wanted to stand behind – including new construction. In spring 2008, this proposal was put before the students and passed with a wide margin.
The students agreed to assess themselves a fee ($1 per credit per quarter up to $10) to support sustainable projects. Throughout 2008 and 2009 student leaders (including Amanda Alva, John DeFriel, Carolyn DeWitt, Joseph Root and Natalie Eberts) refined and revised the fee language to define a process by which the fee would be distributed and in winter 2009 the fee became effective. In Fall 2009 the SESF committee was formed and soon after began soliciting requests for use of the funding. And the rest, as they say, is history!