The ASUN senate passed a bill last night that would push the University of Nebraska-Lincoln toward being a more environmentally conscious university. At the meeting, the senate urged the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation to reconsider their investments in fossil fuel companies and refrain from any future investments. Instead, our student government insisted on investing more in renewable and clean energy sources.
Of course, this probably just sounds like the normal “go green” mantra that has little practicality but sounds good because it will “save the Earth.” In fact, it could be argued that not investing in fossil fuels will cost the university a substantial amount of money that cannot be found in renewable energy sources.
Also, we realize that the passing of this bill is little more than ASUN telling the University of Nebraska Foundation what we want. Whether they act on it is a matter out of our hands.
However, we hope that this bill sparks discussion. We at the Daily Nebraskan urge the senate to continue pushing the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of the University of Nebraska Foundation to start thinking about investing in more environmentally friendly energy companies. We hope that our student government and administration can hammer out a practical approach that would not be detrimental to the university’s funds, but still enable our campus to invest in companies that have a more positive impact on the Earth.
Though it may be a ways down the road before a complete switch in investments can occur, it all starts with talking and planning now. That way, the plan is fully matured by the time the opportunity comes to make a switch, and the university can make a change for the better with peace of mind.
And perhaps something as small as who we invest our funds in won’t have a very substantial effect on the environment, but it’s still something. It’s a step forward in the right direction, and could very likely set an example for other universities. In time, many of these small steps, if taken collectively, will have a more influential effect than we realize.
But again, it all starts with an idea and a discussion. We just hope that ASUN does not let this idea get pushed to the wayside, but diligently pursues it and eventually makes it a reality.