SG to Sponsor Bike Charging Stations on Campus

01/28/2014 By Emily Hartwell

Boston University Student Government will sponsor the installation of stationary bike-charging stations throughout campus, SG officials said at a senate meeting Monday night.

The environmental initiative, which was presented by Claire Richer of BU’s Environmental Student Organization, proposed the installation as a way to motivate students to be more active and reduce the campus’s environmental impact.

“It [the bikes] is something that’s available to anyone,” Richer, a College of Arts and Sciences junior, said. “That’s the way the environmental movement needs to go, having local power and having power and electricity that people themselves are responsible for.”

The bikes, developed by a Belgian-based company called We-Watt, could be the first of many human-powered charging stations to reach college campuses as well as airports and other public spaces, Richer said.

“People don’t realize how much power they have inside themselves to produce things like electricity, and the We-Watt bike is cool because it doesn’t look like a conventional bike,” Richer said.

Richa Kaul, SG Executive Vice President, said the proposal reflects Student Government’s ability to respond to major issues affecting the campus and the rest of the world.

“I am really excited about us sponsoring that new bike pedaling project,” Kaul, a CAS sophomore, said. “That is a fantastic thing that SG can support. It’s visible. It’s something that’s a great initiative moving forward.”

SG Senate Chair Avi Levy said the stationary bike initiative could serve as a testament of BU students’ concerns with preserving the world around them.

“It could be something that the whole campus could stand behind as producing our own clean energy,” Levy, a CAS junior, said. “It makes a really good statement about our campus and what kind of students we have. We’re all very socially responsible and environmentally responsible, and that reflects in the proposal we just passed.”

Another project on the table was the installation of dining points as an option in residence hall vending machines, a project initially recommended by BU students.

“The vending machine proposal…is moving in the right direction,” Kaul said. “It’s not so much about the issue itself, but being able to hear students’ perspectives and seeing what they want to change and then us actually making that happen.”

Kaul said the implementation of this initiative is indicative of SG’s pledge to represent the voices and concerns of the student population after learning through an SG-issued poll last semester that students were indifferent to SG’s presence on campus.

“To me, that’s what [the vending machine initiative] stands for more than anything else…Expanding dining points locations was something we heard, and we are working to make it happen.”

This story originally appeared in The Daily Free Press on 1/28/2014.

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