At least one group of Southern Oregon University students is hoping to het their hands on $23,000 that was released to the school this month from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

At least one group of Southern Oregon University students is hoping to het their hands on $23,000 that was released to the school this month from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

The money is a refund from the school's investment in "Green Tags," renewable energy credits purchased with student fee money to offset the school's energy usage.

The campus' Student Fee Committee is hearing requests from students this week for ideas on how to use the money.

The program began in 2007 after 85 percent of voting students supported the idea for the program. Students pay $10 a term in "Green Tag" fees to fund the program, and SOU ends up offsetting 100 percent of the energy they use, more than any other school in Oregon.

"It's kind of unique," said Dick Wanderscheid, Vice President of Project Management at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. "Most people start off with much smaller amounts."

In addition to renewable energy credits, the money generated is for use by the BEF for research and development of sustainable projects, and 20 percent of the total amount received is refunded back to the school for their own projects.

"It's set up as an incentive, like rewards on your credit card," said Dick Wanderscheid, "Designed to plow some of the revenue back into local projects."

According to Vice President of Student Affairs Jon Eldridge, SOU has already received the $23,000 from the BEF and is holding it in a university account until the Student Fee Committee decides where it will go.

Wanderscheid said the BEF approves almost any idea that promotes sustainability, or education on the topic, including the idea of a an on-campus recycling sorting facility, being proposed next week by the Ecology Center of the Siskiyous.

ECOS is already set to receive $22,000 for new recycling bins, drawn from student incidental funds.

ECOS members aren't the only students looking to see some of the "Green Tag" refund.

SOU junior Shaun Franks gave a presentation Tuesday about using the funds for a green roof of vegetation on the Stevenson Union roof.

"It's an engineered roofing system that allows vegetation to grow," said Franks, a business student minoring in environmental studies.

Franks says the project would ideally involve students and the community, and rely heavily on donations of supplies and volunteers from the community.

The Student Fee Committee will decide on which project to support on May 3 at the earliest, and make their recommendation to the student Senate for a final decision May 10.