Carbon Fund Constitution

University of California, Santa Cruz
Carbon Fund Committee

Funding projects to combat Climate Change at a local level and move towards a sustainable future through student learning and community engagement.


The Carbon Fund will work towards re-creating UCSC as an operationally carbon neutral campus while providing faculty with an opportunity for research and students with the tools they need to move towards a more sustainable future.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing society and the future of today’s students.  There is a clear scientific consensus that the danger to both humanity and the earth’s ecosystems is very real.  In response, communities around the world are working towards mitigating the severity of climate change. As an institution, UCSC must reduce its carbon footprint in accordance with federal law, state law, and UC system-wide policies.  As a university, UCSC is a signatory to the national American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, as well as the regional Climate Action Compact with the city and county.

In order to offset the climate impact of campus energy use, in 2006 UCSC students passed Measure 28, taxing themselves to buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs In 2010 UCSC students voted in record numbers, to change the use of the funds through the passage of Measure 44.  This created UCSC’s Carbon Fund to be a new point of pride and leverage in reducing UCSC’s carbon footprint.

This Committee is established in accordance with Measure 44 to publicize and manage the Carbon Fund.  We adopt this constitution as the guiding document of the UCSC Carbon Fund.


1.1 The Committee strives for a sustainable future by working to mitigate climate change through funding and participating in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conduct relevant research, or carry out education and behavioral change programs.  The Committee’s commitment is foremost to the campus and its students, but also to the wider community as climate change is a threat without boundaries.

1.2 The Committee is a student run organization. It has a student chair/ facilitator, student staff, a majority student membership, and the student members to oversee the student fee funds. As such, the Committee’s first consideration in achieving its mission is that of student needs, education, and engagement.


2.1 The Committee shall create and maintain public project proposal criteria based on the language of Measure 44.

2.1.1 The criteria shall reflect the Committee’s commitment to students, its own mission, the campus mission, and the Committee’s understanding of a successful project.

2.1.2 The criteria shall reflect the priorities of the Committee as well as relevant existing campus commitments and strategic plans.

2.2 The Committee shall solicit and review project proposals from students, staff, and faculty in accordance with criteria.

2.3 The Committee shall provide assistance to proposal authors in both project development and post-funding implementation.

2.4 The Committee shall ensure collection and evaluation of project performance data.

2.5 The committee shall publicly report specific Fund activities and spending on the official Carbon Fund webpage.

2.6 The Committee shall develop and maintain an informational website.


3.1 Quorum

3.1.1 A quorum (50%+1) of the Carbon Fund Committee must be established to vote.

3.1.2 Quorum is 5 voting members: 3 students and 2 staff/ faculty.

3.2 Non-Voting

3.2.1 Carbon Fund Committee meetings are open to the public.  Interested students, staff, faculty or community members may attend but do not have speaking rights unless requested in advance.

3.2.2 Permanent non-voting advisory member with speaking rights:

  • A staff from the Sustainability Office as a consultant to the committee

3.3 Voting

3.3.1 Permanent voting members:

  • Member of Enviroslug (student)
  • Member of People of Color Sustainability Collective (student)
  • A Member from any given campus organization of the committees choosing (student)
  • Representative of SUA (student)
  • Representative of GSA (student)
  • Campus Energy Manager (staff)
  • Faculty Advisor (faculty)
  • Member of Procurement Services (staff)

3.3.2 Members representing a group, that group, organization, or office will appoint organization, or office.

3.3.3 Voting members shall make an informed vote on proposed projects.

3.3.4 Voting members shall remain objective.

3.3.5 Voting members shall maintain the integrity of the body.

3.3.6 Voting members shall uphold all standards both ethically and as outlined in this document.

3.3.7 Additional voting members may be added at the discretion of the committee.

3.4 Staff

Every person in this category has speaking rights, but not voting rights.

3.4.1 Student Facilitator

  • Will be the primary facilitator for the Carbon Fund committee meetings
  • The student facilitator is required to work in conjunction with the Carbon Fund Outreach Coordinator to serve as liaisons between the Committee and the greater UCSC community, develop agendas for and co-facilitate all Committee meetings, and serve as the primary contact(s) for most Committee related issues.
  • The CUIP along with the Climate Action Manager will review the agenda no later than Ten (10) days before the committee meeting
  • Will facilitate the hiring of a student staff to support the committee.
  • If for any reason, the student facilitator cannot facilitate a meeting, the CUIP (discussed below) will take the place as facilitator.
  • If for some reason the student cannot, will not, or does not fulfill the duties of Student Facilitator, the Committee may discuss and vote on removal of student facilitator. This will be done by a 2/3 vote.

3.4.2 Student Outreach Coordinator

  • The CUIP along with the Climate Action Manager will facilitate the hiring of a student staff to support the committee for purposes of publicity and campus outreach.
  • The Outreach Coordinator will promote the Carbon Fund to students, staff and faculty with the goal of soliciting applications and educating stakeholders.
  • The Student Coordinator will work closely with the Carbon Fund committee and Student Facilitator to create outreach material and host events that increase campus participation in the Carbon Fund.

3.5 Officers Who Work Closely With Staff

3.5.1 The Campus Climate Action CUIP

  • Will report to the Committee continuously the short term and long term goals of the Carbon Fund Committee.
  • Will stay up-to-date on the Committee budget
  • Work in coordination with the Committee staff members.
  • Do not have voting rights
  • Will be the secondary facilitator to the student facilitator.

3.6 Student Coordinator Responsibilities

3.6.1 Selection Voting for individual projects

  • Selection parameters and voting standards for individual projects will be determined by current Carbon Fund co-coordinators at the beginning of each academic year

3.6.2 Constitutional Convention

  • Every May, the Carbon Fund Student Coordinators will review the constitution and propose amendments that will be decided upon by the Carbon Fund Committee (see section XI for details on Amending the Constitution)


4.1 Each member shall be appointed for a term of one year.

4.2 Committee members may serve, as many terms so long they are a current student.

4.3 Student term shall begin in the first week of the fall quarter and end in the last week of the spring quarter.

4.4 Staff terms shall run from January 1st to December 31st.

4.5 Staff members may serve, as many terms so long they are a current staff of UCSC.

4.6 Staggering of Council member terms are intended to preserve institutional memory.


5.1 Frequency and Time

5.1.1 Meetings shall be no less than once a quarter.

5.1.2 Meeting frequency, dates and length shall be negotiated with current and prospective Committee members to maximize attendance and the submission of proposals as well as to coordinate with funding timelines.

5.1.3 Enough meetings will be held so as to fairly consider all submitted proposals.

5.2 Standard Agenda

5.2.1 Once funding cycles have commenced, the agenda, as well as meeting location and time shall be publicly posted and sent out to Committee members no later than ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.


6.1 To maintain institutional memory and productivity of the committee, members must adhere to these attendance protocols.

6.1.1 Once meeting times and frequency has been established for the year, members will meet at that frequency given at the beginning of their term.

6.1.2 Absences and tardiness are cumulative throughout the term and will be addressed by the Carbon Fund Committee

6.1.3 Each member is allowed three (3) absences per term. More than (3) absences will lead to the dismissal of a member.

6.1.4 Two (2) tardies shall be equal to one (1) absence. A tardy is defined as not being present at roll call and/or leaving prior to adjournment without Chair or Facilitator approval. If meeting time goes over allotted time, members will need approval to leave from the chair or Facilitator, but will NOT receive one (1) tardy.

6.1.5 To maintain quorum (50%+1) a committee member may send a delegate from their organization to take their place at any given meeting. The Chair or Facilitator must approve this delegate at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the meeting. The delegate does not account for an excused absence and the absent member will receive (1) absence.


6.2 Summer meetings will not be held unless an emergency should arise, and can only meet in the case where quorum shall be met.


7.1 The Committee may remove a member for multiple absences (as outlined in Section V). A Committee member can only be removed by a 2/3 vote.

7.2 In the event that a Council member is removed or resigns, the original appointing body will determine a replacement.  The new Committee member will serve the remainder of the term.


The Carbon Fund Committee shall keep conflicts of interest minimal and maintain transparency. Each Committee member must inform the Committee of their level of involvement in any campus related entities.

8.1 Subcommittees

8.1.1 The Committee may create subcommittees to meet separately, if necessary.

8.1.2. Committee members may be asked to leave the room and abstain from voting, if they are directly affiliated with a project that is under consideration for a Carbon Fund grant.


9.1 Project Proposal Eligibility

9.1.1 Only UCSC affiliates will be considered for funding for project proposals.

9.2 Special Protocols

9.2.1 The Committee shall observe the following rules for use of funds:

9.2.2 10% of annual funds are to be used for the student staff positions

9.2.3 The Committee shall annually set aside 5% of funds to maintaining existing LEED certifications on campus

9.2.4 Physical Planning and Construction shall be allotted 2.5% of annual funds to cover administrative costs of funds

9.2.5 Annually, 1% of funds shall be designated for committee expenses

9.2.6 The full committee must approve any one-time expense that exceeds $100.00.


10.1 General

10.1.1  Majority vote:

  • Committee guiding documents, members, structures, logistics, or procedures may be added, removed, or amended through a majority vote.

10.1.2 Any voting member of the Committee may propose such additions, removals, or amendments and present these to the Committee.  The following procedure applies for majority votes:

  • A voting member may consent to the proposed change.
  • A voting member may abstain from the vote, in which case the member neither voices approval nor disapproval yet is allowing the proposed change to pass by remaining in quorum.
  • A member may openly oppose a decision but a single dissention does not block quorum.

10.2  Proposals for Use of Funds

10.2.1 Point System Vote:

  • Proposals for use of funds submitted to the committee shall be voted on using a point system based on publicly available criteria, both of which are created and approved by the committee.

10.2.2 Consensus Vote:

  • For areas where the criteria do not apply (long-term projects that pre-date the criteria, prior to criteria creation, while the criteria are in flux, etc.) or do not fit the merits of the project, the Committee can fund projects via a consensus decision.

10.3 Project Presentations

10.3.1 Projects with a “high dollar amount” within the pool of applications for the given year will be invited to give an additional presentation to the committee about their project and answer key follow-up questions from committee members

  • The stated “high dollar amount” is to be determined by the Carbon Fund co-coordinators once all applications have been received through the application cycle.
  • Presentation instructions and parameters will be provided by the Carbon Fund co-coordinators to applicants, based on outcomes of committee discussion.


11.1 The Carbon Fund Committee may remove, add, or otherwise modify this Constitution by a 2/3 vote of the council's voting membership. All members of the Committee must be notified at least seven (7) days prior to voting for any proposed change.

11.1.1 Amendments may be approved and included within the constitution by a 2/3 vote of the voting body.