College News

The UW System Student Representatives’ new Director of Sustainability takes office

UW System Student Representatives appointed Alex Thomas to be the first Director of Sustainability. 

The UW System Student Representatives’ Executive Board will have to make some room for one more person at their next meeting. The group added the Director of Sustainability position and recently appointed Alex Thomas for the role.

“My job is to kind of create more of a working group for sustainability to look at it through the reps’ level and act as a liaison for different system representatives as well as being a resource for any students who want to push sustainability on their own campus,” Thomas said in an email.

A student at UW-Stevens Point, Thomas served as the university’s environmental and sustainability director where he said he gained experience in mobilizing students to fulfill sustainability goals. Thomas said he is excited to apply this knowledge when he works with UW System students.

“Part of my goal in this position is to be a resource to any student in the UW System who wants to push the campuses in a more environmentally, economically, or socially sustainable direction,” Thomas said.

Thomas said one of his first goals in the new position is to follow up on the UW System’s complete financial divestment from fossil fuel companies that representatives passed last December. This resolution called for all UW System foundations to have a full divestment from 200 fossil fuel companies by 2022.

Thomas said he will be helping campuses create their own five-year fossil fuel divestment plan.

“My plan is to create a plan for that for each of these campuses, get the conversation going and to make sure we follow the resolution as closely as possible,” Thomas said. “The resolution was really well-written. It was really well-debated when I was at reps.”

Thomas said he encourages UW System students who want to focus on sustainability issues to contact him.

“It shouldn’t be the exception that companies and organizations treat the environment better,” said Thomas. “It should be more normal and I think we’re headed that way in society and things like that. I want to be a part of that drive for that change and making every organization more sustainable and that includes the UW System.”

Students can reach Thomas via email at Alex.A.Thomas@uwsp.edu.

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