Tuesday, the Associated Students of Madison heard presentations from two groups in support of a resolution for the University of Wisconsin to make a plan to move to renewable energy by 2035.
The UW Divestment Coalition asked ASM to support the UW Board to take money away from unethical funds, specifically removing any investments from oil and fossil fuel industries.
Coalition member Mari Belina said the money from those unethical funds would be redirected to an investment in renewable energy.
“The UW Divestment Coalition asks the UW Board to achieve transparency about all endowment investments, divest within three to five years from all fossil fuel companies and reinvest in companies promoting a sustainable and equitable future,” Belina said.
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The Campus Leaders for Energy Action Now also presented to ASM to gain support for the new legislation.
CLEAN member Maya Barwick said UW should change their energy usage to renewable energy by 2035.
“A 2035 target date is based on evidence from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggesting that we need to reduce greenhouse gases on a much faster time schedule than is occurring,” Barwick said. “We need to act now.”
ASM Chair of Sustainability Natalie Tinsen presented the new legislation that would call for Chancellor Rebecca Blank to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and renewable electricity by 2030. ASM passed the legislation with a unanimous vote.
ASM also voted on whether to denounce or endorse a letter from the Association of Big Ten Students that was sent to all Big Ten universities and the Big Ten Academic Alliance asking schools to be more accommodating to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASM Chair Matthew Mitnick presented the letter to the council.
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“[The letter] outlined a lot of the concerns students are having this semester with mental health, access to classes, problematic COVID-19 policies and [the] lack of support we feel that we’ve been getting from administration regarding this topic,” Mitnick said.
Mitnick said the letter was sent to many UW administrators. ASM endorsed the action of sending the letter after no motion was made to denounce the letter.
During the open forum, several students also came forward to ask for the immediate termination of UW employee Rich Yaeger, who ran over several protesters with his motorcycle.