Last night’s Indiana University basketball game was exciting even though the Hoosiers lost by just a couple. If you watch college hoops, you know that IU is having one of its best seasons since I was a student there in the early 90s.
I’m in Bloomington, Indiana, this week not just to see the game, but also to meet the students who are working to score one for clean energy. They are poised to convince the administration to close down the campus coal plant and use clean energy instead. If you're keeping count in campuses, this would be #20.The Sierra Club sponsored last night’s game at IU, and we're also sponsoring the University of Kentucky basketball game on January 17. These Sierra Club Clean Energy Match-Ups are meant to connect sports fans to the idea that dirty and dangerous on campus coal plants need to be replaced by clean and affordable solutions for the health of the players and the students.
While I’m thrilled about both games, of course I’m most excited about last night’s game at my alma mater. The game featured signs, giveaways and announcements from the Sierra Club in support of the teams and the universities. IU student leaders were on site with a slam dunk photo booth and I got to participate in a half-time presentation on the court of my beloved Hoosiers.
Also exciting and inspiring to me are the college students working so hard to secure clean energy on campus. Last night was a very big public moment for them, and they did great.
“We hope to get more Hoosier basketball fans involved in making Indiana a leader off the court by retiring the coal plant on campus and replacing it with clean energy solutions. Moving off coal will mean cleaner air and a healthier campus that Hoosier fans can be really proud of,” said Megan Anderson a senior at Indiana University and President of Coal-Free IU which has been campaigning to move IU beyond coal for nearly three years.
This morning we’re taking part in a major petition delivery at IU where student leaders will present to IU President Michael McRobbie the more than 5,000 petitions collected since the campaign launched in 2009.
More than 60 universities operate their own dirty coal plants right on campus posing a real health threat to students and the surrounding communities. Thankfully, in response, college students are uniting for clean energy, demanding their schools transition away from coal and its pollution.
These two basketball games we’re involved with are our way of kicking off the spring semesters to continue these campus movements for clean energy. Sierra Student Coalition members are making a difference nationwide and showing what leadership looks like.