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NEWS from WVU Sierra Student Coalition
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by Hannah Spencer | 2012

Things are hopping at the WVU Chapter of SSC!

The West Virginia University chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition has been working hard so far this semester. We are interested in many environmental issues but our group is small, so we have decided to narrow our focus to one or two projects.
 
One possible project would be to initiate recycling efforts for off-campus housing facilities. Many students find it inconvenient to recycle at these facilities, given the recycling centers in town are not within walking distance for most students. If we can convince the large housing units to provide recycling bins on their premises, we could potentially increase the amount of recyclables in Morgantown.
 
A second project involves learning more about the energy inefficiency of the student recreation center. The Rec Center’s budget has been tightened and we feel that decreasing electricity use during off-hours will free up more money. Since every student pays a campus fee that goes toward the Rec Center, we should have a say in cutting electricity use and costs.
 
Other projects include bringing in speakers from Friends of Blair Mountain and Keepers of the Mountains. All projects are still being discussed; no action has been taken yet.
 
Collectively, we plan to attend the “Do the Math” tour presented by 350.org in November in Columbus, OH. Bill McKibben, a founder of 350.org, will be discussing our environmental impact and other issues, such as the Keystone XL pipeline. SSC members are eager to hear Bill speak.
 
Although our group has many ideas, our numbers are small. We are starting recruitment efforts for new members by setting up tables at student housing complexes. During our tabling efforts, we are urging students to sign the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency (ACHE) Act, which will put a moratorium on additional mountaintop removal mining permits until further health impact studies have been conducted. We have met some opposition, but we have also met students who were interested in learning more. We hope to increase our student membership and are excited to provide new environmental education at WVU this semester.

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