Campus Environment Committee
April 15, 2008
VP Administration Conference Room
1:00 – 2:30 pm

Attending: Gil Hanson, Chair; Ramona Walls, Vice Chair; Mary Hotaling, Gary Kaczmarczyk, Fred Walter, Krupa Gohil, and John Murray

Excused: Nick Koridis, Recording Secretary; Wendy Fidao, Catherine Horgan, Kristen Nyitray, John Robinson, Dorothy Shannon Schiff, Paul Siegel, Ana Topolovec, Kathleen Weber, Muriel Weyl
Staff: Amy Provenzano

Guests: Jonathan Mandel, Amandeer Parhar, Malcolm Bowman

Meeting called to order by: Gil Hanson at 1:00 PM (ended at 2:15 PM)

  • Introductions – G. Hanson

Introductions were made of all attendees

  • Review of the Minutes – Since Nick was absent, Ramona recorded the minutes of this meeting. The minutes from the last meeting were accepted and approved.
  • Status Reports

1.         Environmental Master Plan – Amy Provenzano

  • No news

2.         Developments at the Research and Development Park – Amy Provenzano

  • There was one small issue regarding moving Health Technology into Building 17, and it has been resolved
  • CEWIT is scheduled to open September 2008

3.         Campus Sustainability Task Force/Recycling – Amy Provenzano

  • Gil commended Amy on the presentation she gave to the University Senate.  It was well received.
  • Recyclemania is closed for the year.  Results will be posted tomorrow.  Stony Brook did better this year than last, in terms of the gross tons of waste recycled.
  • Fred said that we need to work on reducing the amount of waste generated, not just how much gets recycled.
  • Mary asked why the hospital does not recycle paper.  Amy answered that the paper gets shredded first, and then recycled by the disposal company. There is probably no need to shred much of the paper waste generated by the hospital. Mary pointed out that it would save the hospital money not to have to dispose of all paper waste as sensitive records.
  • Friday (April 18) is Earthstock.  If you bring a pair of old sneakers for recycling, you can enter a raffle to win a mountain bike.  There are bins for sneaker recycling in the Sports Complex, SAC and Wellness Center.  Office of Sustainability is working to try to get campus mail service to pick up old sneakers for recycling.

4.         Smoking Policy Sub-committee – Gil Hanson

  • Lou Esparaza presented the sub-committee’s recommendations to the Senate.  There was not much time for discussion, so voting was postponed until the following meeting.  There was some discussion of the size of the no-smoking radius outside building entrances (15 vs. 20 vs. 50 ft).
  • Amy said that Lawrence Martin brought up the issue of no smoking on the walkway between the Administration Building and Javitts Center.  Fred pointed out that this is one of the most crowded areas of the campus.
  • Fred asked why the lights are on in the stadium after midnight. Amy said the lights in the stadium are controlled by the Athletics department, but she will talk to the person in charge there and look at energy consumption for the stadium.

5.         University Safety Committee – Mary Hotaling

  • The committee has met several times and assigned tasks.
  • They have a large list of tasks to cover.
  • Mary is working on the issue of sexual harassment
  • Krupa asked if the Safety Committee could address poor lighting on campus, particularly along the road between Kelly Quad and the train station.  Amy said she will deal with it through Facilities.
  • Fred and Gil suggested that lights on campus should not point up.

5.          Parking and Transportation Subcommittee – Ramona Walls

  • The committee has not met since the last meeting, but individual members of the committee are working on recommendations for different time frames.
  • Gil said he talked to the owner of a local bike shop who said he hears about a lot of bicycle vandalism and theft on campus.
  • Mary suggested forming a bicycle user’s community on campus.
  • The need for indoor bicycle storage in dorms and the possibility of bike rentals were discussed.
  • Fred brought up the issue of poor connections for bike paths on and off campus.  Amy said the Town of Brookhaven 2030 task force was looking into that issue.

6.         Friends of Ashley Schiff

  • Gil will lead a walk through the Preserve in April as part of Earthstock


  • Gil brought up a concern with leaf blowers on campus.  They are in use on the main mall during that day, causing a lot of dust and noise.  This discourages meeting and congregating on the mall, which should be one of its main functions.  Amy said we need to wait until there is a new contract with landscapers.  Gary said he will talk to Terence Harrigan about it.  Ramona suggested that even with the existing contract, perhaps we could ask them to use the leaf blowers at times of the day when the mall is not so busy, such as early morning.  Malcolm asked what happened to the leaves and grass that were collected.  Woody debris gets composted on campus.
  • Bottled Water.  The committee discussed an email from Larry Swanson (Waste Reduction and Management Institute, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences) suggesting that the University adopt a policy similar to Suffolk County’s recent move to ban the use of plastic drinking water bottles at the county’s official business and facilities.  The committee felt it was important to make non-bottled drinking water more available on campus.  Amy mentioned the red mug program available on campus.  The committee felt there was a need to work with Chartwells and other food service companies to reduce the use of bottle water and other packaging waste.  Amy is working on this in the new Chartwells contract.  They will also start pre-consumer composting of food waste.  The committee felt that campus facilities should do more to encourage the use of non-bottled water, such as including water in the soda fountains and making cups more available.  Amandeer asked about the use of biodegradable cups and plates, or at least using plastic cups that are recyclable (numbers 1 or 2 plastic).   Malcolm suggested that we get the wording of the new Suffolk County law and use that as a policy guideline.  The committee agreed that banning the sale of bottled water on campus was not a feasible policy.  Ramona agreed to draft wording for a policy recommendation for the next meeting.
  • Gil announced this fall the committee will be looking for a new chairperson, and encouraged members to think of possible candidates.  The chair must be a voting member.

Meeting adjourned at 2:15.

Next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday May 20, 2008 at 1:00 PM VP Conference Room