Whether you're brand new to Trinity or whether you've been here a while you might not fully know what I do as Vice-President. Alongside working and chatting with students, engaging with our clubs and societies, working alongside our advice service, I also get a unique chance to run campaigns on the issues I think are important to students'. From Day 1 I knew what I wanted to get to work on.
We've seen, over the past few months and years, the growing threat of the climate crisis; the rapidly increasing number of extreme weather events, the thousands already dying and suffering in the Global South as a direct result of the Climate Crisis, as well as repeated warnings from the IPCC that we have just a decade to take radical action to avert the situation spiralling completely and comprehensively out of control.
We've also seen over the past few months and years that the most urgent calls for radical change are coming from students and young people. It's our future and our planet that's under threat and movements like the School Strikes are clearly demonstrating that it's our generation that'll lead the fight.
I want to use my role as Vice-President and the unique opportunity I've got to ensure that LTSU and the University are doing absolutely everything they can to fight the Climate Crisis. That, of course, means taking small steps - selling and using re-usable keep-cups, collecting and recycling bottle tops, looking to reduce our plastic and paper consumption where possible. But it also means not shying away from bigger challenges - we can't be fiddling with paper straws whilst an Eldritch Apocalypse unfolds before us. It therefore also means we need to ensure the University commits to NEVER investing any financial resources in the Fossil Fuel industry (76 UK Universities have already signed up to this pledge), it means lobbying the University to build on it's already impressive work around energy sources - they have a single set of solar panels and use CHP, but there's still more that could be done. It means overhauling the University ethical investment policy to ensure that investments aren't being sent from students pockets' into multi-national corporations that are trashing the planet and stomping over workers' rights. It also means using your voice at the Ballot Box, making sure you're registered to vote and USE that vote to support parties that fight for the interests of the young and fight against the climate crisis in a meaningful way.
But of course, as you might have noticed, none of things are going to be achieved by me, sat by myself in an office. They need students to be at the forefront, working as a collective, putting pressure on the University and changing individual behaviours. It also means students' need to tell us, at LTSU, where we're going wrong and how we can improve
If you're interested in Sustainability and fighting Climate Change, you can drop me an email at C.Dow@leedstrinity.ac.uk OR you can come along to one of our Environmental Committee meetings, which are open to all students. The next one is at 15:00, Friday 27th in AF21, so come along, give us your ideas and get involved!