Portland State University students passed a referendum this week that creates a $5 per student "green fee" per term.
PSU plans to use money raised by the fee, which was approved by 72 percent of students who voted, as follows:
—Subsidizing three-month TriMet flex passes for students. PSU hopes to eventually require all students to have a bus pass.
—Creating a special sustainability projects fund overseen by students that encourages small scale sustainable capital projects. Projects already include bike parking stations, new bikes for a bike loan program and water bottle refilling stations.
—Creating a revolving loan fund to support projects such as installing highly efficient light bulbs and water conservation. Organizers hope the fund will be self-perpetuating with money earned through savings re-invested in other projects.
—Hiring a full-time conservation and renewable energy manager at PSU.
More than 60 universities nationwide have enacted a similar green fee.