The University of Massachusetts Amherst Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution declaring a “climate emergency” during one of its recent meetings and urged the university administration to do so as well.
According to Amherst Wire, the “climate crisis” (2019-S6) resolution was in response to the UMass climate strike last month, when students participated in a walkout to raise awareness for climate change.
The resolution passed unanimously with no member voting against it.
“Climate change is currently contributing to billions of dollars in poverty and infrastructure damage worldwide, stressing local economies,” stated the resolution, which later said that “the University of Massachusetts student body is a global community in which all students and faculty are impacted by climate change.”
“The Student Government Association declares a climate emergency for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protect our economy, our ecosystems, and our community from climate change.”
“The Student Government Association urges the University of Massachusetts Amherst to declare a state of climate emergency,” the resolution states.
According to the report, SGA President Timmy Sullivan said that the resolution is “a framework or orientation” for how the SGA hopes campus policies will be shaped in the future regarding climate change.
“I am really hopeful UMass will declare [a climate emergency],” Sullivan said, according to the report.
Eli Zeh, communications director for the UMass Amherst College Republicans, said that the declaration was not a smart idea.
“The SGA’s decision to declare a ‘climate emergency’ was a foolish one, and only further proves the presence of political biases among the Senate and Executive Branch of the organization,” Zeh told Campus Reform.
Noting that the SGA has little power, Zeh said that it “would be better off focusing on issues that directly affect us as students, such as administrative pay and spending costs.”
Zeh also said that the UMass administration will “likely” not declare a climate emergency, as it has already addressed “related energy and climate issues.”
Read more at Campus Reform