Sewanee Outing Program and Green Fund install new University bike pump

By Helena Kilburn
Staff Writer

As many students have noticed, there is an exciting new addition to Sewanee’s campus outside of McClurg. The Sewanee Outing Program (SOP) has set up a new bike pump to replace the older, smaller one that had been there previously. This new pump was the product of a project  proposed by John Benson and Seth Burns, who run the SOP, and funded by the Green Fund.

According to Diego Martinez Rojas  (C’19), the SOP “placed a bike pump outside of McClurg, which has been there for years… [but] it wasn’t really made for such heavy use.”

“This industrial-grade pump, which has finally been installed outside McClurg, is meant to encourage increased biking around campus and, as a result, reduced car use, which we believe is both good for the environment and potentially for student wellbeing as well,” continued Martinez Rojas.

As a result, members of the SOP had the idea to install a more durable and easy-to-use pump for Sewanee students and the greater campus community. In order to do so, they applied for funding from the Green Fund.

The Green Fund is a 2005 student-led initiative begun by Katherine Wilkinson (C’05). According to the Green Fund’s Engage page, “The University accepted the Green Fee proposal and allotted $6 from each students’ tuition payment to a Green Fund that was used at the time to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (REC) from the Tennessee Valley Authority through the Green Power Switch program.”

The project was approved and the new pump was installed for good the first week of April. This new bike pump can be found by the bike racks outside McClurg dining hall, and is ready for use.

This new project is exciting as an improvement to Sewanee’s campus, giving students an increased opportunity to bike and making simple bike repair more accessible.

“Providing students a reliable, high quality pump at a central high traffic location on campus supports Sewanee’s being a very bikeable and walkable campus.” Martinez Rojas said. “This is an important step towards a more environmentally friendly campus.”

This project is the result of the hard work and dedication of the SOP, but also evidence of the hard work and dedication of the Green Fund and its members.

“As a lot of people know, this is the first year for this organization,” Rojas said, “so they really did a lot of work and planning to make it happen. The committee members were devoted to this project, so we hope to continue watching the fund grow, [get] more applications, and continue supporting more environmental action on campus.”