Solar SAVE goes to SGA about fossil fuels @ VSU

SAVE‘s fossil fuel divestment request made the front page of The Spectator at VSU, and Danielle Jordan of SAVE was pullquote about fossil fuels in another front page story, about solar panels on the Odum Library. The student government didn’t vote to support SAVE’s request, but many senators said they didn’t understand the subject and the student government asked to get educated about fossil fuels and divestment.

Jordan Barela and Von Kennedy wrote for The Spectator 24 October 2013, Solar panels bring green energy to Odum,

VSU is moving in a greener direction.

A solar canopy was recently built behind Odum Library.

“We cannot address climate change without decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels and solar is one way we could change that.”
—Danielle Jordan

The canopy is a 10 kilowatt solar array. The canopy produces energy that goes directly to Odum Library, and does not go to the Georgia Power grid.

Construction of the solar canopy began in September, and was finished earlier this month.

“It is exciting,” Danielle Jordan, president of Students Against Violating the Environment, said. “We cannot address climate change without decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels and solar is one way we could change that.”

The solar panels were manufactured by a company called Enphase.

Enphase is the leading micro-inverter system provider for both residential and commercial solar panels.

A solar micro-inverter is integrated into each solar panel module and converts the output into an alternating current so that multiple units may be connected in parallel connections.

See the story for more.

Joe Adgie wrote for The Spectator 24 October 2013, SGA dismisses SAVE proposal,

On Monday night, SAVE (Students Against Violating the Environment) went to the SGA for support of their divestment program and didn’t get it.

The divestment program concerns requesting the VSU Foundation to “freeze any new investments in the fossil fuel industry and commit to a plan to divest all of its holdings in fossil fuels within five years,” according to a letter that SAVE sent to the organization on Oct. 11.

The SGA, however, expressed concerns with the consequences of this divestment program.

“I do know a few companies that are what (SAVE) would consider that we need to divest from,” Sen. Tamelonie Thomas said. “They do play an integral part in our scholarship. They play an integral part in our special projects on campus, and I don’t want it to seem as though the SGA is stepping out and saying ˜The student body is against this’ when we don’t exactly know who these companies are.”

Thomas was referring to a line in SAVE’s presentation that read “We have included a list of the 200 largest fossil fuel extraction companies from which we are asking to divest.”

SAVE did not list these companies, nor did they mention any of these companies, by name at Monday night’s meeting, and the SGA was unable to determine what these companies were. However, this list is available on the Fossil Free campaign’s website at gofossilfree.org.

Other SGA members explained the benefit that this divestment program would provide to VSU.

“The thing is when you invest into a company, you’re empowering them,” said Senator Candicee Childs, SGA representative of the Faculty Senate’s Environmental Issues Committee. “If you take away your investment, you’re sending a message (that says) we as a people, as human beings, understand the issues that (are) going on with our climates, and we want a better environment.”

Childs explained that SAVE wanted the VSU Foundation to “invest in companies that actually care about us as humans with the environment.”

Here’s FossilFree‘s list of Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies.

The vote was 3 for, 13 against, and 18 abstaining. The Spectator story continues with more comments from student senators, many of whom did not seem to understand what divestment was. This is an educational opportunity, as the story recognizes at the end:

The SGA vowed, however, to work with SAVE on projects in the future.

-jsq

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  1. Pingback: Fossil fuel divestment fastest | On the LAKE front

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