By Jack Sintic

There’s a new energy that is exciting electric vehicle owners and environmental activists alike on Bellarmine University’s campus

Over the winter holiday, Bellarmine University installed an electric vehicle charging station. The station, located in between Petrik Hall and Miles Hall, is available for students and faculty to recharge their electric vehicles for free. The station is available on a first-come, first-serve basis to anyone with a valid Bellarmine parking pass.

The station is classified as a Level 2 charging station, which charges cars in just a few hours. This allows students to charge their cars and have them ready to drive quickly.

“With this I can drive over before class, plug it in, go to class, then take it back,” first-year student Julianna Kopp said.

Jeff Dean, the assistant vice president of facilities management, said the project had been considered for the last four years but the administration never managed to secure funding for the program.

Kopp and Stuart Ungar, president of EVolve KY, met with facilities management to discuss installing a charging station. The mission of EVolve KY is to promote the installation of electric vehicle charging stations all around the greater Louisville area and spread awareness about electric vehicles. Ungar was the contact to an electrical contractor who assisted in the installation.

Brian and Amy Kopp, alumni from the class of 1994, and the Student Government Association donated the money to pay for the charging station.

“We’ve always felt like we should give back to the campus, and we thought this initiative was a great way to do so,” Brian Kopp said.

Eli Lonneman, the environmental committee chair for SGA, said Julianna Kopp emailed her before beginning her first year to express interest in installing the charging station. “We were talking about it in August right when we got onto campus,” Lonneman said.

Dean said: “It was really [Julianna’s] persistence that paid off in this situation. Between Julianna and the VP of Student Affairs Helen Grace Ryan, they really convinced SGA to put up some money and got the ball rolling.”

Lonneman said she was encouraged by Julianna Kopp’s initiative.

“A lot of environmental problems can seem so daunting and large, but there are a lot of tangible steps that we can take,” Lonneman said. “It makes me feel a lot better graduating knowing that there are students who are going to still advocate for a more environmentally friendly campus.”

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