UGA Beyond Coal Stands Up to President Michael Adams
For the last three years, UGA’s President Michael Adams has ignored student’s requests to retire the on-campus coal boiler and establish a group to ensure a sustainable replacement despite 5,000 petitions, 150 faculty endorsements, and 200 community endorsements. However, on October 10th, President Adams could no longer refuse to hear the student voice when UGA Beyond Coal joined in solidarity with Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance to protest the Georgia Board of Regents meeting in Athens, Georgia. The Board of Regents recently banned illegal immigrants from attending most universities in Georgia, so both student organizations joined together demanding, “All students on campus, dirty energy off!”
To follow up with the protest, UGA Beyond Coal executive members composed a formal open letter to President Adams, explaining that this was, unfortunately, the only way we were able to access him (see letter below). We asked him, yet again, if he would be willing to meet with us to discuss the future of our campus infrastructure. Currently, we are still waiting for his response.
Board of Recent ProtestVideo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkZPoAPiwW8&list=LLgaSc5pne1xhhoiKWZbM7tQ&feature=mh_lolz
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT ADAMS:
October 11, 2012
Dear Dr. Adams,
As an organization, we would like to address the events at the Board of Regents meeting yesterday. The disruption was not meant as a personal attack on you, nor was it a decision we made lightly. Unfortunately, we felt our presence at the meeting was necessary in order to draw your attention to our concerns.
In the last three years we have amassed 5,000 student petitions, 150 faculty endorsements, and more than 200 community endorsements, and despite having continuously requested a meeting with you, we have never received a response. Speaking out when and where we did can be attributed to the limited opportunities to have an audience with you. We can no longer be ignored by the administration when the issue we are working on is so urgent and so critical. You are the ultimate decision maker for all university projects, so it is crucial for us to meet with you to discuss the future energy infrastructure of the university. The coal boiler threatens not only the health of the entire Athens community, but also the reputation of our university. We are committed to securing a clean, renewable energy future for UGA. We have demonstrated our commitment through the countless hours we have invested in this campaign and all of the events, resolutions, articles, initiatives, research, and coalitions that have resulted over the years. As students we have a right to be included in decisions that impact our health, our community, and our futures. We are asking to have our voices heard in a meaningful way. On numerous occasions we have demonstrated to members of your administration our knowledge, professionalism, and solutions-oriented approach with regards to replacing the coal boiler. We ask that you give us the chance to show you these qualities by meeting with us to talk about how our campus can be a leader in clean energy infrastructure.
We regret that this was the route we felt we had to take to get your attention. Like you, we love this university, and we want to leave a legacy of health and sustainability for future generations. We hope that our presence at the meeting displayed our resolve to retire the coal boiler and replace it with sustainable alternatives that will protect both the health of the Athens community and the reputation of UGA. We are excited to work with you to achieve this mutual goal and look forward to a response with tentative dates on which we could meet. Your office may reach our executive board at [email protected] or by phone at (404) 245-3247, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Executive Board of the UGA Chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition
Heather Hatzenbuhler Ian Karra
Laura Toulme Cristina Duque
Allie Brown Jacob Spaulding
Tyler Faby Maura Friedman