With the recent Students’ Association (SA) Government elections, a lot of students have been talking about what they do and don’t like about SA. I’ve heard many students criticize SA for not actually accomplishing anything significant to improve our University, and in some cases I can agree that SA does not always do enough about certain issues. However, the SA recently presented Cam Schauf, Co-chair of the University Council on Sustainability with Senate Resolution 31, titled “Establish Carbon Emissions Reduction Goals.”
Unlike many other major universities, the University of Rochester has yet to pledge to a carbon emissions reduction goal. A carbon emissions reduction goal is when an organization sets a target of either a percentage or amount of carbon gasses that they will cut down on by a certain date. In passing Resolution 31, the SA has requested that the University Sustainability Council advise President Seligman to authorize such a goal.
Resolution 31 reads:
“…the Students’ Association Government Senate urges the Executive Branch to advocate to the University Council on Sustainability to develop and propose quantitative carbon emissions reduction goals of 2-3% per year and an overall competitive minimum of 35%, and implores the University Council on Sustainability advises President Joel Seligman to sign the proposed goals by January 1, 2017.”
Resolution 31 will be formally discussed at the April meeting of the Council, and preliminary steps related to this resolution have already been made by the Council. After the Council’s March meeting, and in anticipation of this resolution, it has been determined that the University will undergo data collection of the UR’s carbon emissions in order to establish a baseline that would be needed to follow through with a 2-3% reduction per year or whatever goal is decided upon.
While many people do criticize SA, you certainly shouldn’t accuse them of turning a blind eye to environmental issues. Resolution 31 was passed by the Senate with 15 to 0 votes, and hopefully concrete action will be taken by the Council on Sustainability soon.
You can read the entirety of Resolution 31 here.
Written by Ciara McGillivray, class of 2018