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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students sleep out for clean energy initiative

Published: October 8, 2010
Section: Front Page

PHOTO BY Ingrid Schulte/The Hoot

Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF) and Students for Environmental Action (SEA) joined with other campus organizations to host a sleep out on the Great Lawn Thursday night in order to raise awareness about clean energy.

SEA and SJSF joined with the Natural Living Club, Real Food and Brandeis for Pakistan Flood Relief to organize the sleep out. In addition to attracting attention and gaining new supporters, SJSF hopes to rally support for a coal moratorium and 100 percent clean energy by 2020, two policies that will soon arrive as pending legislation Dorian Sosnick Williams ’12, Brandeis Campus Coordinator for SJSF said.

“We’re currently heading down a planet- wide tragedy,” Craig Altemose, Executive Staff member of SJSF said in an interview with The Hoot.

Williams said that the environmental protection movement is especially popular with youth and college students.

“We have the most future,” she said. “This [climate problem] will be around for the majority of our lives.”

SJSF said that the sleep out was “in protest of the dirty electricity that powers our homes and dorms,” according to a letter sent to SEA members this week.

Altemose explained that the United States is largely responsible for many climate issues, but added that we have the “ability to influence the next 1000 years.”

SJSF is an organization that began in Massachusetts and has now expanded to include campuses all across New England.

Students, including Aziz Sohail ’13 who has been helping to coordinate the university’s Pakistan Relief Effort, said that advocating clean energy and increases in the number of solar panels is relevant at Brandeis and across the country.

“This is something that’s going to affect us when we grow up,” Aziz said.

“Most people want to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Altemose said.

On Sunday, SEA will participate in a project to clean up the Charles River as part of the International Day of Climate Action.

“By recycling the garbage we find, we can ensure that the embedded energy in the products gets reused–instead of decomposing over the years and sending a steady stream of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere,” the letter said.