Last week a number of students from the University of Glasgow have locked themselves on to the Memorial Gate to demand the University implement the Green New Deal.
Unfortunately, our University and DUSA do not have any clear plan of actions either to deal with the climate crisis. Even though DUSA is claiming to work on a “greener” future, they have ignored all my emails when I was asking about what they are planning to do about COP26.
I am not blaming our University, I am full of hopes and I simply want to see more action with this issue.
If you look at Glasgow University’s Green New Deals you will see some amazing ideas that could be (and in my opinion must be) implemented:
All subject-specific University trips to Europe & within the UK should be encouraged and subsidised to be taken by bus or train, with relevant exceptions for accessibility. We should really stop relying on planes as they are of the most polluting industries and if our university wants to have a positive impact locally and globally it really needs to stop treating planes as an acceptable way of travel. University also needs to Include all University-related flights by international and domestic students in University offsetting calculations.
Our campus also should be more friendly for active travel, we need more parking spaces for bikes, not cars, and also we need to ensure security on campus as I personally do not feel safe leaving my bike on campus (my friend have experienced theft of a bike on campus for example).
All food served on campus should be plant-based and cruelty-free. Meat and dairy is the third most polluting industry in the world and we can not afford to eat in the way we do now. Luckily enough, we have an amazing advantage – our international community, by bringing recipes from all around the world we can create a diverse vegan menu that will have less damage on our environment. Place an immediate ban on the use and sale of single-use plastics on campus. Also, none of the food should be wasted, in this situation, we simply do not have a moral right to do so.
Ensure all staff includes eco-awareness in their work, having this on agenda is important as never. Can you imagine university staff fully ignoring the COVID-19 pandemic and not sending a single email about it to students? This is exactly what is happening with climate catastrophe. I really hope that Internal Communications Team, on other staff will do a better job with that!
Adding a mandatory question to evasys course evaluation so students can give feedback on environmental awareness in their course curricula will definitely increase the awareness of the problem.
The whole Green New Deal from students at Glasgow University can be found here – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KFuzcbDjpoROcvwcuQeNPWQxI15Fw5Ua/view?usp=drivesdk, really recommend to have a read!
Administration and staff should really start working on becoming a net-zero and eco-friendly university sooner than later, simply because it will be forced to do so at some point anyway and it will be a huge advantage to start right now.