Although the University of Georgia is great, college life is by no means all there is in Athens. Here there is a thriving community of people who don’t necessarily have anything to do with campus but are, by default, affected by everything that goes on beyond the Arch, from parking to littering problems. Air quality is no different- there are no boundaries the wind respects. And so UGA’s decision to burn coal on campus affects the air of Athens community members without asking for opinions or permission.
Coal isn’t just harmful to local environments and resident health in the areas it’s mine- coal affects the health of those in the communities where it’s burned. Like UGA’s campus. Toxin and smog emissions at coal plants can be so bad that, within the Campuses Beyond Coal Campaign, students at the University of Wisconsin actually sued their school and won for the affect coal pollution was having on the health of students and community members. The Sierra Student Coalition is reaching out to the community members affected by UGA on campus coal use because we believe everyone is entitled to protect the air they breathe.