September 30, 2020

By JESSICA MARTIN

If you had $15,000 to improve the environmental status at Conestoga College, how would you spend the money?

That is the question Conestoga Students Inc.’s (CSI) board of directors are facing as they prepare to write a proposal of environmental ideas in an effort to receive a $15,000 grant from Waterloo Region’s environmental fund.

“The college is not practising what it’s preaching at all,” said Zoey Ross, director of sustainability, at the CSI meeting on Nov. 30. “Many other campuses have solar and wind energy. Conestoga in general has fallen behind extremely and basically gone off the sector.”

Ross said it’s time to take environmental action.

“We need to take it up to the next level, especially since the college has a strong focus on environmental engineering right now. We need to actually show that we care about the environment.”

A community garden, a waterfall to create hydro electricity, solar panels and a green wall full of plants were all ideas discussed around the table.

The board has until Jan. 16 to finalize and hand in the proposal for a suggested course of action.

In other business, CSI directors decided to spend $3,000 to spend the day with Catherine M. Rosa (CMR) Governance Consulting to update their policy manual which hasn’t been revised since 2003.

“This means we would be getting a brand new governance structure, a well-trained board every year, brand new policies and procedures, a constitution that follows the new corporations act that will be coming out shortly and make sure everything flows together so that we can be effective and cohesive,” said CSI president Ciara Byrne.

The board is planning to meet with CMR in January, after completing a survey to help CMR understand the issues.

“The workshop will be customized to our board and what she sees in our policies, our constitution and our governance process,” said Byrne.

The changes to the manual would not be effective immediately.

“The full implementation, if we change our governing style and everything, would have to be something this board would start and the next board would carry to completion,” she said. “This year we can start with changes to the constitution, recommendations and policy changes. But as for governance structure, it would have to start the 2013/14 year.”