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Students angered by Blue Book transition

By Traci Atwell
On October 29, 2012

The UCF Student Government Association is initiating a climate-neutral environment by introducing Green Books to students this week.

By doing this, it is saving the world one initiative at a time, Mercedes Beaudoin, SGA environment and sustainability specialist, said.

Even though the new books will be green, the name Blue Books will still carry on. The new replacements of the Blue Books will help promote to students that saving the environment is an important issue to UCF. According to SGA, the books are created out of 100 percent recyclable paper and 30 percent of it is post-consumer waste.

These books will be used by students in the math department for their tests in the Mathematics Assistance and Learning Lab. The Blue and Green books will be acceptable to use in the MALL. It is encouraged by faculty and SGA to invest in the Green Books.

In 2007, President John C. Hitt said his plans to create a 100 percent climate-neutral environment on campus would be achievable by 2050. One of the first steps to reach his goals is the Green Books.

Even though the books are purchased through the same company, Roaring Springs Paper Products, in Pennsylvania, the new books are more expensive than the original books because the process to create them is energy efficient. However, the effect of this project will help steer the UCF campus to a climate-neutral environment.

Twenty cases of recyclable paper saves 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, 411 kilowatt hours of energy and 8 cubic feet of landfill space, Beaudoin said.

SGA has changed an idea into reality in a matter of three months. One of the first orders was placed on Sept. 18 and should be arriving within the next two weeks.

SGA has ordered enough of these books to last students until the beginning of the summer, giving students more than enough resources to have for the school year.

Students going to the SGA office to retrieve a Blue Book are stopped at the door by signs telling them that SGA does not have any Blue Books available. These signs have been up for the past couple of weeks to notify students of the sudden shortage.

SGA did not expect such a high demand in Blue Books for the past couple of weeks, so its preparations did not go as planned.

I do not have a problem with the green initiative, freshman business management major Eunice Wanjiru said. But, I do have a problem with the fact that the books are coming out later and they didnt plan for more Blue Books to be available.

Many students were upset about the unexpected news. Some students said that there should have been better strategies of informing students other than just a sign on the door.

I think an email should be sent out to everyone, Wanjiru said. Also, SGA could have placed the news on the myUCF page so when students sign on thats the first thing they see.

If students needed a Blue Book, they had to purchase the books from the bookstore or a vending machine for 70 cents per book. Beaudoin said that in reality, students already purchased their Blue Books through their Activity and Service Fee.

I do not think it is fair for students when they expected to come and get it for free, junior English language arts education major Danielle Price said. Hassle-free is what the Blue Books should be because every math teacher requires them.

Once the Green Books have arrived on campus, SGA will post announcements on campus to advertise the new books. Also, students will be able to learn more about the effects of the new books and their purpose.

It is awful that it happened this way, Beaudoin said. It was completely unintentional and the student government is very apologetic for this inconvenience.

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