This year has had it’s ups and downs for all of us, but I excited to report that student activism is alive and well! Please enjoy this newsletter of top highlights from NCPIRG and our friends around the country.
100% Renewable Energy Commitments
On Earth Day, MASSPIRG at UMass Amherst won their six year long campaign to get the university committed to 100 percent renewable energy! Read more on our website here.
NJPIRG won their campaign to get Rutgers University to make a commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, carbon neutrality by 2040, and zero carbon from purchased electricity by 2030.
CALPIRG at UC Irvine won their campaign for 100 percent renewable energy in Irvine, when the Irvine City Council voted unanimously in favor of the resolution!
MaryPIRG at the University of Maryland won their campaign to pass legislation committing the state to net zero emissions by 2045. Read more here.MaryPIRG’s Sophia D’Alonzo speaking at a Coalition Rally for Climate Solutions Now and the FUTURE Act
After a year-long campaign by CALPIRG Students and their partners, Los Angeles County voted unanimously to phase out oil drilling in LA County, and Governor Gavin Newsome announced a statewide rule to restrict around oil and gas extraction sites.
Banning Single-Use Plastics
CALPIRG Students helped pass 5 new state laws to reduce plastic waste in California, including a law to make single-use foodware available on-request only, updating labeling for compostable products, and restricting producers from putting the recycling symbol on non-recyclable products.
CALPIRG at UCLA won their campaign to get the city to limit single-use plastics at restaurants and retail establishments. Read more.
NJPIRG at Rutgers Camden won their campaign to eliminate single-use plastics on campus in the dining halls and the retail food court!
Turning Out the Youth Vote
In the fall, Student PIRG staff and student leaders reached over 81,000 of their peers with information on how to register to vote and cast their ballots in their state and municipal elections.
In addition, we got data from the 2020 elections which showed that 82% of the students that we registered turned out to vote, and that campuses with a PIRG club or chapter turned out at 6 percentage points higher than the national average. That means 89,000 more young voters!
WashPIRG Students at the University of Washington won their campaign to pass a bill to limit prescription drug prices in Washington!
WashPIRG students at their press conference with bill sponsor State Senator Karen Keiser.
Saving the Bees
TEXPIRG at the University of Texas Austin won their campaign to get the Austin City Council to certify the city as bee-friendly, which includes expanding pollinator-friendly habitats and reducing the use of pesticides.
In the fall, we reached nearly 50,000 students in key states such as Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina with information on why and how to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including nearly 3,000 phone conversations.
Federal Open Textbooks Funding
We won the inclusion of $14 million for the Open Textbook Pilot Program in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bill!
UC Santa Barbara students campaigning for affordable textbooks
Dozens of PIRG chapters and clubs held events for Youth Earth Week – from press conferences to beach clean-ups to lobby meetings with elected officials.
Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week
Over 300 PIRG chapters, clubs, and community partners around the country took action for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Online, the hashtag #hhweek has reached over 4 million people over the course of the week!
This year, Florida PIRG’s Alex Gordon and NCPIRG’s Durham Technical Community College club won awards for their successful work to get their campuses to sign the Break Free From Plastic pledge, and NJPIRG Vice Chair Habiba Rao won a Community Service Award from the Rutgers Newark Academic Foundations Center for her work on the New Voters Project!
Florida PIRG’s Alex Gordon receiving the Brower Youth Award
About The Student PIRGs
The Student PIRGs is a network of student-directed and student-funded organizations that work with professional staff at colleges and universities to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our chapters and clubs on over 100 campuses provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. For nearly 50 years we’ve helped students to get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change.