A few years ago, a group of fellow students and I learned about an exciting new initiative occurring on college campuses across the country. In an effort to combat rising energy costs and contribute to the fight against climate change, students at schools such as the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois voted to establish sustainable energy funds to implement energy conservation and renewable energy projects on their campuses. The idea has since taken off, with more than 30 schools nationwide establishing similar programs amid high levels of student support.We were curious about this idea and set about conducting research to see if we could institute a similar program here at Rice. We discovered that over the last eight years, energy costs for Rice have quadrupled. Furthermore, over the last three years, on-campus housing fees have risen 20 percent, with a portion of these fees being those same energy costs passed on to students. We also learned about the efforts the university is taking to defray energy costs, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation for new buildings, construction of the South power plant and installation of a new central energy dashboard system that monitors energy usage across campus.