The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: Direct donations to win energy

Each year, the Senior Challenge is met by the graduating class with a range of emotions running the gamut from enthusiasm to deep resistance. The Senior Challenge seeks to raise money for the Pioneer Fund, the majority of which is used as unrestricted funds to enhance the College’s operating budget in things ranging from financial aid to scholarly symposiums. Giving to the Senior Challenge is the easiest, most direct way to contribute to Grinnell’s everyday operation.

However, many seniors and alumni do not participate. Some, in seeking ways to demonstrate support for the college’s core value of social responsibility, find this structure lacking. Many Grinnellians are project-oriented; they want to contribute to more tangible initiatives or seek an inspiring and specific narrative of social justice. Some Grinnellians have had disagreements with College policies or allocations of funds, and feel that giving to the Senior Challenge would be the equivalent of excusing that disagreement and writing The Powers That Be a blank check.

Several months ago, students from SGA, Free the Planet, and the No Limits Project began discussing ways to bring all the disparate Grinnellian constituencies together around a project that could demonstrate Grinnell’s enduring commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. The student body has pushed for the construction of a wind farm for years and has long sought similar displays of support and enthusiasm from the College. Our efforts have centered around spurring forward this project that is currently winding its way through various legal and regulatory hurdles. In addition to the initial steps that have been taken by the administration, we are advocating more concrete action. As such, we have worked with Alumni Relations and Development to create a more targeted “Green Giving” campaign to capture the imagination of the larger Grinnell community and help fiscally and symbolically steward the wind farm toward a timely completion.

We are therefore pleased to announce a new way to direct gifts through the Senior Challenge. On each pledge form, you will now find a line to denote your gift in support of the College’s current wind energy initiatives and the legal fees and research costs incurred in that process. Additionally, each donation in support of wind energy will be tagged as such, beginning a record of how donors are voting with their wallets.

Anyone can donate to the Senior Challenge, and we encourage everyone to join us in our Green Giving project this semester. Not only is this is a great opportunity to support an important, ongoing project here on campus, but it’s also a chance for the student body to set a precedent for greater engagement with the broader direction of the college. Help us make this project a success and prove that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is—we know we will.

—Harry Krejsa ’10, on behalf of the Student Government Association, Nathan Pavlovic ’10, on behalf of Free the Planet, Ragnar Thorisson ’11, on behalf of the No Limits Project

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