Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Viva La Resolution: In Unanimous Vote, Wash U Student Union Senate Urges University to Change Name of "Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization"

The students have spoken!

In response to demonstrated student outcry over the naming of the "Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization" and with momentum from last week's flash mob protest, on Wednesday the Wash U Student Union Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging the administration to change the Consortium's name. See the Student Life article.

The vote came after a week of intense lobbying by students, during which senators received an extraordinary number of emails from constituents in support of the resolution. The resolution originated in last week’s session, but the vote was postponed until after a drafting session could be held to address senators’ concerns. Wednesday’s senate session was packed with supportive students who applauded after the resolution was passed in the first 15 minutes of the meeting.

A truncated version of the resolution reads (full version available here):
“Whereas, The term “Clean Coal” is an industry marketing term intended to obscure the negative effects of coal extraction, combustion, and disposal;

Whereas, The use of said term may invite doubt regarding the integrity of the research the Consortium conducts;

Whereas, The Student Union supports the research being done by the Consortium to develop safer and more effective coal utilization technology; and therefore be it

Resolved, That the Student Union strongly urges the Washington University administration to change the name of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization; and be it further

Resolved, That the Student Union urges that the Consortium’s research into future uses of coal include studies of the social and environmental effects of its extraction, combustion, and disposal.”

We look forward to open dialogue with the administration and invite any concerns and comments.

Viva la Resolution!

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