NYPIRG: Student Activism at Its Finest

We love hearing about students getting interested in activism, especially when it's environmental activism. The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is one of the more venerable student-run activist organizations in addition to being New York State's largest, with 21 campus chapters and over 85,000 members. NYPIRG's focus is on consumer education and government reform, with an emphasis on environmental issues. They've pushed for over 120 public interest laws and executive orders over the past 33 years and are going strong, fighting for more recycling, fewer nuclear power plants, more wind power available for consumer purchase, and less littering, to name just a few. One of their most successful spinoffs is the Straphangers' Campaign, a group dedicated to the improvement of public transit in New York City; the Straphangers have helped to get the subways cleaned up and repaired from their decrepit state in the 1970s, pushed for a shift from tokens to farecards that permit subway-bus transfers and unlimited rides, and perhaps most importantly, worked hard to make sure the public are allowed to speak at MTA board meetings and get rider and labor representatives on the board. We're seriously impressed that student volunteers (led by experienced staff) get so much done. Motivated young adults are a tremendous source of sustainable energy; it's great to see an environmentalist organization tapping into it. ::NYPIRG