Students looking to improve environmental sustainability on the University of Nevada, Reno, campus need look no further. SNIF — or the Sustainable Nevada Initiative Fund — is a university program that funds students to create environmental projects to be implemented on campus.
SNIF was originally created by ASUN President Caden Fabbi in 2015 but is being revived this year as the new Director of Sustainability, Brita Romans, takes office after being approved by the ASUN Senate on Nov. 8.
“As the land-grant institution of Nevada, it is important that we set the standard for the rest of the state and set the bar high for how eco-friendly we are,” Romans said. “Being the driest state we are naturally water-conscious, however, managing all aspects of the university in an eco-friendly way assures that we will be around in the future and contributing to our local environment in a positive way without harm.”
Students interested in SNIF can apply by filling out the Sustainable Nevada Initiative Fund Form on ASUN’s website. Students can work individually or in a group.
Students must have an idea and know how they want to implement it during a specific timeline, along with projected outcomes and a measure for analysis of success. ASUN then scores each group on the quality of the work plan, viability of the plan, long-term effects, cost-efficiency and its measurable impact on resource conservation. There is a broad criterion for project ideas. Plans can be science, engineering or policy based.
“[It can be] anything students can imagine which would benefit the sustainability of our campus,” Romans said.
The project can fund $10,000 worth of projects, and Romans said they can choose to fund one project that needs that amount or smaller projects that add up to the total grant.
According to the SNIF website, projects that align with the goals and standards of the No Walls 2025 plan — which highlights what ASUN officials thought the university should look like in 10 years — will have a higher chance of being selected.
Students of all majors are wecome to apply. Applications are open and the priority deadline for SNIF is Monday, Jan. 1, and the final deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 31. Students will be notified by Wednesday, Feb. 14.
There will be an information session on SNIF held before winter break starts, where interested students can ask questions and learn about the application process.
“I hope to have the first successful round of SNIF funds enacted and celebrated across campus,” Romans said. “I want our students to be in the know of our environmental efforts, and taking steps in their everyday life to lessen their footprint. In the future, I hope that the number of SNIF applications will grow and that we will see a more competitive application pool year by year.”
Romans also wants to enact sustainability policy through the ASUN Senate — mostly focusing on plastic bag use on campus. She encourages students to contact her at email@example.com to tell her other sustainability projects and initiatives they want to see on campus.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.