Board of Trustees postpones Third-year housing initiatives

Caroline Brady

The Board of Trustees deferred making a final decision on proposed environmental initiatives for Washington and Lee’s third-year housing on Feb. 7.  A future meeting time has not yet been decided upon.

This was the second time the board postponed making a final decision. The board first deferred judgement during the Fall 2014 semester.

According to Student Environmental League President Chel Samuels, the board wants to have more financial details before coming to a final decision.

The proposal advocated the installation of solar panels to power the new dorms and the transition to a landfill gas energy provider.

The solar panels would be installed on five acres of land owned by W&L near Canal Farms. The total solar electricity output on campus would rise from three percent to 9.5 percent.

The proposal suggested switching to Collegiate Clean Energy, which uses large amounts of coal and natural gas, according to Samuels. Collegiate Clean Energy already provides energy to five nearby universities.

SEAL presented a  position paper which voiced student support for the initiatives at the meeting. Four hundred and eighty eight students signed the position paper, which is more than a quarter of the student body.

Students are concerned about what the postponement could mean.

“I think the proposed energy initiatives would be beneficial for the school, but if they keep postponing the decision I don’t think it looks very promising,” Anna Justice, ‘16, said.