Posted by Tatiana Christian
Gabriel Fair is the go-to person for Students for Environmental Action (SEA) at Clemson University in upstate South Carolina. Originally founded in 1990, SEA had originally been called Students for Environmental Awareness, but was recently changed in 2010 to reflect the need to create momentum. Being a college organization, their present demographic is limited to eighteen to twenty-three year olds, but with an undergraduate population of over 15,000 students, this is not much of an issue!
The goals for SEA are quite far-fetching and amazing; they hope to have their campus embrace sustainability efforts from a social to economical to technological level. Gabriel hopes to not just change conversations on campus about sustainability, but to give students chances to create their own sustainability programs. Additionally, he hopes students will embrace solar panels and LED lights.
Currently, they’re ready to present a bill to their student government, suggesting an eight dollar increase in the tuition. This would create a fund that would allow students to submit sustainability projects to get funded such as a bike program. Currently, students cannot really do anything. He is hopeful that after the first semester, they can open a sustainability office since they don’t have one now.
In the past they have worked with Greenpeace and the Energy Action Coalition – the very people who put on Powershift. And while they haven’t had any issues so far, the Clemson campus is conservative, so there’s a concern that the sustainability conversation may take a while to take hold.