To the Board of Trustees of Scripps College:
I am writing to voice my disappointment about sustainability at Scripps, regarding in particular the new residence hall currently being designed. As a student and a member of the Scripps community, I am proud of the college's current efforts to implement sustainable practices. My concern is that the new residence hall may not be LEED certified.
I understand your reservations about the extra expense of LEED certification and the flaws of LEED as a certification program. However, all cited figures have been based on an old building plan, and updated information about the actual cost of meeting LEED standards has not been forthcoming. Regardless, I believe that the benefits of LEED certification far outweigh the costs: a more sustainable building will reduce resource use and costs for decades to come, and certification will ensure that green elements of the building plans are retained throughout the construction process while demonstrating in a broadly understood manner the college's commitment to sustainability. I feel that the college has not recognized the great importance I--and, increasingly, Scripps students, parents, and alumnae--place on sustainability. To me, prioritizing sustainability is the confident, courageous, hopeful, and responsible way to plan the new building.
I am therefore petitioning the planning committee to make the new residence hall LEED certified at the Gold level. To that end, I urge you to hire a sustainable building consultant to make recommendations to the board, to make these recommendations and the building progress available to the community, and to create a LEED certification fund to which the Scripps community can contribute. I will notify my friends and my parents about this matter and urge them to take action as well.
Constructing a new residence hall is an investment in the future of Scripps College. I hope it will be one that reflects the college's values.
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