Archive for March, 2013

UNC Student Congress passes resolution in favor of coal divestment!

Just weeks after 77% of UNC’s student body voted in favor of coal divestment, our Student Congress has voted overwhelmingly in favor of divesting the university’s $2.1 billion endowment from the dirtiest, most carbon intensive coal mining and coal burning companies in the nation.

The 94th Student Congress of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as the elected legislative authority of the Student Government of the University, representing all of the 29,278 students of the student body expresses its support for UNC’s endowment divesting from coal companies.

Here is a link to the text of the UNC Student Congress resolution for coal divestment and the press release from the UNC Beyond Coal campaign applauding the resolution of support.

The resolution passed on Tuesday night by a 24-6 vote, which in addition to the referendum will send a strong message to the administration and the Board of Trustees that divestment and the bigger picture of climate change are issues that students at UNC are deeply concerned about and issues that the university must take action on immediately.

The referendum on the student ballot was significant, and it is encouraging to know that such a large percentage of the student body is supportive of the divestment campaign. But the support from Student Congress that we have received is even more significant, as they represent all 29,278 students at UNC Chapel Hill.

Since the results of the election last month were announced, the administration has been unresponsive to our requests to present at the UNC Board of Trustees meeting from March 27th-28th. The Board has no excuse to continue to ignore this issue, and should allow the UNC Sierra Student Coalition to make an educational presentation to them at the meeting. We hope that the resolution that was passed will place even more pressure on the university to divest. But whether we are able to make a presentation or not, we will be at the Board meeting in numbers, and we extend the invitation to all of you to join us. Can you bring a friend?

For more information about our campaign, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our blog.

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March 6, 2013 at 5:48 am Leave a comment

Cleans for Clean Air & Campaign Updates!

In preparation for the March 4th Day of Action, UNC’s Sierra Student Coalition hosted an event in the pit with Carolina Barbell on February 28th. Many people came out to do Clean lifts for clean air and to help support our campaign! This attracted a lot of attention. Even Ramses came out to do some cleans for clean air! We are very appreciative of Carolina Barbell for being at this event with us and making it all possible.

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Also, a shout out to some of our members who attended the Forward On Climate Rally in Washington DC on February 17th, and to those who attended the Power Up! Convergence at Swarthmore in Pennsylvania February 22nd to the 24th. You can read more about the UNC Sierra Student Coalition’s involvement at Power Up! here.

Right now the campaign is currently in a waiting stage. We are hoping to be able to make a presentation at the Board of Trustees meeting at the end of the month, and are calling on them to allow us to do so. In our press conference on Valentine’s Day, we called on administrators to respond to our referendum, and to allow us to speak at the meeting, but have received no response thus far. You can check out the Daily Tar Heel’s article here, & a copy of the News Release is posted below:


UNC-Chapel Hill students call on endowment to divest from coal companies

Leaders ask for trustees, administrators to take serious action

 Students at UNC-Chapel Hill used a successful referendum vote supporting coal divestment to rally their classmates at the Old Well on Thursday afternoon. Campus leaders called on administrators and trustees to divest UNC’s $2.1 billion endowment from the coal industry and allow students to officially present their proposal at the next Board of Trustees meeting.

“Students want UNC to divest from coal, the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive fossil fuel on the planet,” said UNC sophomore Jasmine Ruddy. “We don’t want our educations to be subsidized by investing in an industry that we know is wrecking the climate for future generations.”

On Tuesday, 77 percent of UNC students voted in favor of coal divestment in student body elections, with more than 4,200 students voting for the endowment to dump its coal holdings.

“Research shows that we can divest from the worst coal mining and coal-fired utility companies over the next few years without any real impact on investment returns,” said UNC first-year Anurag Angara. “Coal is an increasingly vulnerable industry and a financially risky investment, so UNC has no real basis for defending why it should keep coal in its portfolio.”

Students are concerned about coal because of its overwhelmingly negative cradle-to-grave impact on public health, environmental quality, global climate change and the U.S. economy. This campaign is part of a national student movement at more than 250 college and university campuses calling on their endowments to remove investments in coal and other fossil fuel industries that are hurting the planet, polluting our politics and driving climate change.

Press Conference Speakers:

  • Jasmine Ruddy, UNC Sierra Student Coalition coordinator
  • Madhu Vulimiri, UNC Campus Y development director
  • Zach Bijesse, UNC Campus Y cabinet member
  • Alanna Davis, N.C. Student Power Union member
  • Anurag Angara, UNC Sierra Student Coalition coordinator

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If you want a more day to day update of our campaign you can like our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/UNCDivestCoal

And, make sure to sign our petition!

 

-Tara Nattress

March 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment


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