LA CROSSE Wisc. (WLAX/WEUX) – Organizers of a rally at UW-La Crosse are hoping to push the university towards a greater climate action plan. While some UW-La Crosse students may be enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, it’s making others focus on one topic…climate change. Activists and faculty gathered Monday to urge the university to create a greater climate action plan.
Professor Alysa Remsburg says UWL has made strides with environmental initiatives…and needs to do more. “UWL has a green fund that has inspired other campuses, and it’s really put us in the right direction with things like installing solar panels on the rec center…but it could really benefit from long-term follow-through of a sustainability coordinator who has a vision.”
A sustainability coordinator could help create a more environmentally friendly campus.
“Getting rid of plastic straws, implementing greener energy, cutting down on fossil fuels, making the dorms more sustainable, maybe looking into different infrastructure.”
Seniors Cassidy Hansen and Erin Pierce are among the students calling for the position to be added to UWL’s staff. Hansen says some student advocates have been told there isn’t room in the budget.
“It’s really frustrating to know that we are the only UW school in the state who doesn’t have a coordinator…we just built this Prairie Springs that’s dedicated to the sciences, and it’s just very interesting they can’t allocate any money to, at least, a sustainability coordinator.”
Both Pierce and Hansen hope that by organizing, students will illustrate the desire to have a sustainability coordinator on campus.
“It’s been mainly petition signatures and word of mouth but having an actual event might spark something within the administration and the university.”
A similar call to action is being planned during the spring semester. State representative Jill Billings was unable to make a planned appearance at the event but provided a statement in support of greater climate action.