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Students Seek to Green California’s University System

California State University (CSU) students urged the Cal State Board of Trustees to move forward with plans to implement a Clean Energy and Green Building standard for the world’s largest University system. CSU students have been pressuring the Board of Trustees for over a year, sending in over 8000 signatures and making hundreds of phone calls to demand action.

Last week, the students gathered at the Board of Trustees Meeting to pressure the Administration to adopt a Strong Clean Energy Policy. The student campaign, called Renew CSU, successfully pressured the Board of Trustees to call for a cost-benefit study on implementing Clean Energy and Green Building goals at the May 2004 meeting. Since then a Sustainability Committee was formed and has met once, on January 13, 2005, but the study called for by the Trustees has not yet begun. “We applaud the CSU for attempting to move forward, but are concerned that the cost-benefit study called for by the Board in May 2004 has not even begun,” said Tylor Middlestadt, Renew CSU campaigner and Student Body Vice President at Cal Poly SLO. The Renew CSU campaign has urged the Board to adopt a comprehensive Clean Energy and Green Building Policy that would include: 500 kW of solar installations per campus, certifying new buildings as LEED Silver Green Buildings, reducing energy consumption per student by 20 percent by 2014 and purchasing 25 percent renewable energy by 2014. This comprehensive policy would make the CSU a leader in the growing movement of sustainability for higher education institutions. Students and local citizens will be greeting the Trustees with a solar demonstration system and banners, urging the Trustees to commit to sustainability. “It’s time to save the future of the state and invest in sustainability”, said Manuel Fonseca, Humboldt State University Student and Cal State Student Association Environmental Affairs Officer.