The Climate Ambassadors, a new student group established by Evan Weber ’13, Corey Guilmette ’13, Isabel Stern ’14, and Marjorie Dodson ’13, is focusing on raising awareness about climate change and climate justice. Given that the club is new, it is still in the process of planning events and projects centered around its objective.
Weber, who is an Environmental Studies and economics major, started the club with the hope of informing students about climate change as well as raising awareness about the University’s plan to build a power plant.
“I was one of the few people speaking out [against the power plant], and because there was no organized group, my argument burned out,” Weber said.
Weber’s plans to raise awareness include hosting discussion panels and a possible conference to educate members of the University on climate change. Weber stated that there are other environmental groups at the University, but none is solely devoted to climate change.
According to Sustainability Coordinator in Finance and Administration Jennifer Kleindienst, many people at the University were not aware of what the building plans for the new plant entailed. The University decided to use a natural gas cogeneration plant, which is the same system used at the central power plant; the new plant will be built near Freeman Athletic Center. The University decided to build this type of plant because of its low cost.
“The plan was not well-advertised to the campus community until October, when planning was already underway,” wrote Kleindienst in an email to The Argus. “Many students, faculty, and staff were upset to have not been informed that such a major project was planned.”
Weber explained that he hopes students are directly involved with important decisions such as this in the future.
“Our main goal is to shape the climate policy at Wesleyan, Connecticut, and hopefully back in our hometowns,” Weber said.
The Climate Ambassadors recently had a meeting with President Roth and will soon start putting definite plans into motion.
“I’m very excited about the creation of Climate Ambassadors,” Kleindienst wrote. “My hope is that this new group will not only raise awareness about climate change and sustainability issues, but that it will help students on campus to understand the impact of climate change on their lives and how they can change their lifestyles for the better to be more sustainable.”