SGA passes bill to enforce proper recycling on campus

Photo courtesy of J. Smith, Wikipedia

Ramapo’s Student Government Association passed legislation on Oct. 2 that will affect organizations hoping to co-sponsor with the legislative body in the future. The bill concerns the enforcement of Ramapo College’s waste disposal guidelines, stating that “all organizations that the SGA co-sponsors with are required to make sure that they are recycling and appropriately disposing of their waste products.” The new legislation gives SGA the right to “deem [the organization] ineligible to receive any additional co-sponsorship funding from the SGA for the remainder of the academic year,” should the violation be severe enough.

SGA senator Ryan Greff was the sponsor of this bill.    

“I always had a commitment towards sustainability since I joined the Boy Scouts and was inspired to aid Ramapo’s own commitment towards sustainability by crafting a piece of legislation that would help increase the recycling rate here on campus,” said Greff.

When asked how deliberations went regarding the initial proposal, he said that one of the chief concerns of the SGA body was how to enforce the bill.

“SGA is limited in their powers of enforcement,” he explained, “so my fellow senators and I wanted make a meaningful impact by having something to which we can control, resulting in this legislation concerning co-sponsorships.”

Reactions to this new legislation have been mostly positive with clubs such as the Beekeeping Club, Ramapo Green and residence halls like Laurel Hall coming forward to support the legislation.

However, there were some initial concerns over how clubs and organizations would be made properly aware of Ramapo’s waste disposal guidelines as well as having the resources to accommodate them. Ryan Greff framed these concerns largely as “a barrier of ignorance” that the SGA would help try to alleviate by giving the co-sponsoring organizations all the relevant information regarding Ramapo’s waste disposal policies in addition to resources such as relevant contact information and proper request forms for recycling bins.

“It shouldn’t be hard to recycle, especially with Ramapo’s single-stream recycling system,” Greff said.

In regards to enforcement, the SGA is striving for a two-prong effort.

“SGA members would likely be at these co-sponsored events in some capacity, allowing us to keep a watchful eye over the proceeding,” Greff said.

However, for the second prong, SGA is hoping for members of the Ramapo community attending the event “to notify the Student Government Association of any organization co-sponsoring with the SGA improperly disposing of waste products.”

When pressed on how willing students, faculty and other members would be to report such violations, Greff said, “We are working with Ramapo Green to publicize the bill and major organizations such as the president sustainability committee are aware of the legislation.”

Greff continued, “With Ramapo’s strong green presence I think we have enough of a populace to allow for the proper enforcement of this legislation.”