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Environment Committee kicks off semester

October 10, 2013

Published here on September 6, 2013.

The N.C. State Physical Environment Committee held its first meeting of the semester Thursday to discuss updates regarding University Facilities and Transportation. During the 20-minute meeting, PEC approved minutes from the previous meeting and assigned subcommittees.

According to Ron Grote, administrative officer for N.C. State facilities, these subcommittees are where the real work gets done.

“This meeting was just an organizational meeting,” Grote said. “All the subcommittee work is where everything starts happening. Then, they report out to this committee.”

PEC is composed of faculty, staff and students. Representatives from the office of information and technology, the graduate student association, and a variety of departments and colleges took part in the meeting Thursday.

Officially, PEC’s goal is to act as an advisory body to the vice chancellor of finance and business. It reviews plans regarding facilities, transportation and landscaping.

“As a whole, we review anything with transportation and with campus planning and design,” said Erin Champion, PEC chairwoman. “We really look at the plans of things coming up and give recommendations or approve anything that’s going to get built on campus.”

Tom Kendig, the director of university transportation, said the committee mainly benefits him by giving feedback on transportation’s upcoming plans. For example, next on the PEC agenda is a discussion of the transportation office’s physical master plan.

“It provides a sounding board for us,” Kendig said. “After all, they are the campus community.”

Kendig also said that the office of transportation needs approval from the committee on certain decisions, such as parking pass fee increases.

“All of our proposals [including the physical master plan] are recommendation-based,” Kendig said.

The PEC meeting is one step in that process.

Tom Skolnicki, the university landscape architect, said the committee helps ensure the quality of the University’s physical side.

“PEC’s role is to think about whether or not building is being done in the right way—the best way—for N.C. State,” Skolnicki said.

Part of that consideration is based on sustainability.

“[PEC] always addresses people’s projects and deals with issues regarding sustainability both inside the building and out,” Skolnicki said. “Historically, it’s been a group that’s raised sustainability awareness on campus.”

While there are typically four undergraduate representatives on the committee, only two graduate students represented the student body Thursday. Grote said this is because the undergraduate representatives have not been appointed yet.

Still, Champion said that any student is welcome to come if they want. The committee meetings serve as an open campus forum and have previously welcomed designers or other facilities representatives.

The next meeting will be held on Oct. 3.

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