The Yale College Council proved two unsurprising things on Wednesday: students care about the environment, and students want cheap long distance.
The YCC passed three resolutions in an effort to influence the University’s policies in these areas.
The first asks Provost Alison Richard, Yale’s chief academic and financial officer, to charge the Advisory Committee on Environmental Management with drafting a comprehensive environmental policy. The other resolutions recommend that Yale continue to offer long distance service and reevaluate its cost structure to offer lower rates, and that Yale Telecommunications negotiate a contract with EarthTones, an nonprofit phone company that donates all its profits to nonprofit environmental organizations.
Richard has already created the environmental advisory committee, which consists of several professors, two graduate students, undergraduates Andrew Kroon ’04 and Ian Cheney ’02, several employees from facilities, Richard and a deputy provost. This committee is studying recycling, energy, land use, purchasing, construction and renovation in all areas of the University, Kroon said.
The resolution applauds the fact that Richard created the committee, but asks that the committee devise a comprehensive environmental policy for the University.
“It has been evident for a long time now that the Yale student body is in strong support of the greening of Yale, and this resolution makes it official,” Kroon said.
Yale Student Environmental Coalition member Noah Chesnin ’04 said this resolution does not imply endorsement of any final plan, but simply says that the students want such a policy. Kroon said he hopes the committee will eventually bring its plan back to the YCC for further recommendations.
While the environmental policy resolution had one dissenter, both resolutions related to long distance service passed unanimously.
Resolution author and advocate Jocelyn Lippert ’04 said she heard about EarthTones through a mailing, and upon further research discovered that Yale Telecommunications’ contract with Southern New England Telecommunications would expire this year.
“I bought their phone card, and I thought it would be awesome if we got the University to switch to it,” Lippert said.
Lippert is a contributing reporter for the Yale Daily News.
Before Thanksgiving, the YCC issues committee conducted a survey gauging students’ use of the Yale long distance service, Lippert said.
“What we found was that most people who didn’t use Yale service didn’t use it because of cost,” Lippert said. “And if the University lowered its price to six to seven cents a minute, a large portion of people said they would switch to Yale service. The thing is that Yale is currently reevaluating their entire long distance service systemÊ– there are all these options that are up for consideration, including completely getting rid of service for the University.”
The current SNET service charges Yalies 13 cents per minute. The YCC survey found that the majority of respondents use cellular phones or calling cards instead of Yale long distance, citing expense and inconvenience as reasons for not using Yale service.
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