College News

ASM calls Chancellor Blank to promise 100 percent renewable electricity, energy

The Associated Students of Madison passed a resolution calling Chancellor Rebecca Blank to sign a renewable energy commitment, which requires setting sustainability goals and creating a timeline.

The Associated Students of Madison passed a resolution calling Chancellor Rebecca Blank to sign a renewable energy commitment, which requires setting sustainability goals and creating a timeline.

Image By: Dana Brandt

The Associated Students of Madison passed a resolution Wednesday with nearly unanimous support calling on Chancellor Rebecca Blank to sign a sustainability commitment that sets goals for UW-Madison.

Last week Blank signed the Resilience Commitment, which “refers to the ability of institutions, infrastructure and communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change,” according to a university press release

The agreement has been signed by 435 other universities and colleges, including six UW System institutions. 

However, ASM’s new legislation pushes for UW-Madison to sign another commitment as well — the Climate Commitment. 

“The Resilience Commitment does not require binding renewable energy commitments, while the Carbon and Climate Commitments include target dates to reduce carbon emissions,” the ASM legislation said. 

Sustainability Chair Sanauz Alaei introduced the proposed resolution to call Blank for a renewable energy commitment. The resolution was cosponsored by CLEAN — Campus Leaders for Environmental Action Now — and seven other student leaders in student council. 

“We think we need to take a stronger stand by also signing the Climate Commitment, which includes a target date,” Alaei said. 

The recent focus of both administration and ASM comes after UW-Madison earned a silver rating from the first-ever STARS — Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System — report it submitted. The STARS report rated the institution based on sustainability practices in four main categories: academics, engagement and operations, as well as planning and administration. 

With a silver rating, UW-Madison is between the two higher and two lower tiers available on the STARS ranking system. 

The Office of Sustainability at UW Madison views sustainability as an issue broader than just energy conservation practices. 

“Sustainability is a systems approach to getting things done and getting people together to find solutions to complex problems,” Director of Sustainability Missy Nergard said. 

The resolution was passed nearly unanimously with no debate within the council. 

Update 11/14/19 11:47 a.m.: This story has been updated to correct a misrepresentation of ASM's legislation. It calls for Blank to sign the Climate Commitment, not both the Climate and Carbon Commitments. 

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.