NCSEN

March 18, 2014 at 5:24 am Leave a comment

At the beginning of February, students from all across North Carolina gathered at NC State. The gathering was a part of NCSEN, otherwise known as North Carolina Student Energy Network. NCSEN is a statewide network of colleges all working towards more renewable energy and a clean future for our state. The network encourages collaboration between schools and students.

Carolina Hansley, a central organizer of NCSEN, put together a retreat on February 1st  for members of the network. The goal of the retreat was to bring members from all across the state together for a weekend. Students came to share ideas, participate in trainings and plan for future events. The ultimate goal of the retreat was to plan a state- wide day of action later in February.

A statewide day of action would involve all of the schools doing a media- worthy action at their school all on the same day. That is exactly what we did. The Day of Action was on February 20th. Schools across North Carolina got students to sign petitions, take photos or participate in a solar spill to promote clean energy. The goal was to draw attention on each campus to the need for renewable energy.

Here on campus, UNC Sierra Student Coalition put together a banner with photo petitions. We collected over 40 photo petitions. People filled in their reasons to the sentence “Duke we want 100% clean energy because….” People had reasons from “I want my children to have a future” to “coal sucks.”  Everyone was really supportive of the cause, and we were able to get the Daily Tar Heel to cover the action.

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The retreat and the Day of Action were all leading up to the Association of Student’s Government Meeting on Saturday, February 22nd. At the meeting all NC system schools voted on a resolution drafted by NCSEN with help from UNC system president Tom Ross. The resolution asks Duke Energy to provide the NC system with 100% clean energy. The resolution is to pressure Duke Energy to help us meet the NC Systems schools’ goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Without Duke Energy’s help, this goal will not be reached.

The resolution passed, and UNC-CH was able to be a part of making that possible. A couple of students from Beyond Coal took the photo petition banner to the ASG meeting and held it up to show UNC’s student support for the resolution. The resolution was successful, but there is still more work to be done. NCSEN has the opportunity and potential to leverage their state- network to make progress towards a clean energy future.

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(Photos courtesy of Sharanya Thiru)

– Hannah McKinley

Want more information about the campaign?
The Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) is a broad network of high school and college-aged youth from across the country working to protect the environment. The SSC is the youth-led chapter of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Our mission is simple: “to train, empower, and organize youth to run effective campaigns that result in tangible environmental victories and that develop leaders for the environmental movement.”
Sign our online petition for coal divestment at UNC on Change.org
Like our UNC Sierra Student Coalition page on Facebook
Join our UNC Beyond Coal Facebook group
Follow @sscunc for updates on Twitter
Want to learn more about the national campaign for university endowments to divest from dirty coal? Check out http://www.wearepowershift.org/campaigns/divestcoal

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Stories from Power Shift 2013 Sustainability Panel: April 14, 2014

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