ASG awards NUSolar vehicle a sustainability grant


Daily file illustration by Emma Ruck

ASG provided additional funding to four student groups and amended its code review.

Angeli Mittal, Reporter

Northwestern Associated Student Government awarded NUSolar $1,000 from the Sustainability Committee’s Student Group Sustainability Grant at its Wednesday Senate meeting.

The ASG Sustainability Grant provides funding to student groups to encourage sustainability efforts on campus and in Evanston.

NUSolar is an organization that designs, manufactures and races solar car vehicles. Since its founding in 1997, the group has built seven solar car vehicles, participated in 10 competitions and given talks about the advances in electric and diesel vehicle technology.

“We’re in the process of designing our eighth (solar car),” McCormick junior and NUSolar project manager Ishaan Narain said. “With the experiences that we’ve given student members, they’ve gone on and pursued other future career opportunities in electric vehicle spaces.”

McCormick junior and NUSolar business lead Zachary Martin said the ASG grant will fund the electrical components for the car’s battery box, which stores the car’s solar energy. The grant application stated that the purchase of new electrical equipment will allow them to increase the performance and energy efficiency of this component.

Martin said the grant will not only fund the project and promote sustainability at NU, but also promote the team’s initiatives for increasing the diversity in educational backgrounds.

“We’re primarily an engineering team, but it’s important to note that we do not just have McCormick members,” Martin said. “You’re not just sponsoring a McCormick organization.”

Martin said the group also has plans to address its gender disparities within the team, which is predominantly male.

NUSolar has reached out to the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Computing to grow its female membership.

“We do have issues as an engineering team and as the car team with male overrepresentation, and we’re working to combat that,” Martin said.

At the Wednesday meeting, ASG also introduced a breakdown of the student group fall funding allocations and the Fall Quarter 2020 Code Review.

ASG Parliamentarian and Weinberg sophomore Zack Lori emphasized the significance of proposed changes to the rules to their referendums, avoiding the “one-sided” referendum supporting pass/fail from this quarter.

“The Rules Committee (would) propose a final wording that could then be confirmed by the Senate,” Lori said. “Also, it allows the Rules Committee to try to find people on both sides of the argument.”

Both the funding allocations and the code review will be further discussed at the next meeting.

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Twitter: @amittal27

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