Do Richmond students care about the environment as much as our president does? On Nov. 13, 2007, President Ayers signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Since then, the president announced environmental stewardship to be a priority on campus and has followed this pronouncement with actions: D-Hall's certification as a Virginia Green Restaurant, a commitment to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificated Silver certified construction projects, the pursuit of a program that would allow SpiderCards to be used on the GRTC public transportation system and the Eco-Spider Challenge to promote sustainability on campus. Although all of these initiatives are excellent steps for our campus to take, are we, the students, paying attention?
From deforestation, to drought, to climate change, the environment is an issue students may be talking about in conversation, but few are talking about it in terms of Richmond. The Environmental Studies Class of 2008 focuses on human dimensions of climate change in our senior seminar, and we believe the time is right for our campus to seriously address the environment. We surveyed the campus and 81 percent of the respondents believed global climate change was already impacting humans and ecosystems, and would have dramatic effects on Earth in the next century.
These results show that you believe, but now let's address the environment and take on difficult issues like climate change. We urge the University of Richmond to use avenues, like The Collegian, as a forum for debate with rational arguments for both sides of the issues weighing heavily on our generation. We challenge students, faculty and staff to submit articles concerning environmental issues — whether personal knowledge, economic analysis, scientific research or beyond \0xAD— and to engage our entire campus with the environmental stewardship and global warming initiatives supported by President Ayers.
In the (adapted) words of Nelly and Lil' Wayne, "It's getting hot out here... let's talk it over"
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