On Wednesday Oct. 5th, members of the UGA Sierra Student Coalition’s (SSC) ‘Beyond Coal’ campaign gathered in the school’s social hotspot, the Tate Student Center, and asked students what may have seemed a daring question: “Will you call our university’s president?”
The goal of this event, deemed a “call-in day”, was to get at least 200 students to telephone the office of the president in order to pressure the administration to set a date to retire the on-campus coal plant and to form a task force to determine a clean alternative source of energy to power UGA facilities. The plant, which helps heat some the campus’ freshman dorms, dining hall kitchens and laboratories, has a contract that will expire within the next few years. This event has been one of many actions that SSC has taken to persuade administration that coal is an outdated source of energy and that a coal plant’s negative effects on its surrounding environment (including the healthy of the student body) are incontrovertible.
The call-in day was a huge success. Whether it was because of their charisma or their eye-catching neon-yellow shirts, Beyond Coal volunteers were able to record a whopping 217 phone calls in just four hours, though members of the SSC estimate that the number is closer to 250.