Student Government Passes Solar and Carbon Neutrality Resolution

Olivia Allery, news editor

On Wednesday Nov. 17, Augsburg’s Student Government unanimously passed a resolution that will install solar panels on the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion and the Ice Arena. This plan, The Solar and Carbon Neutrality Resolution, would give Augsburg the potential to one day generate its own solar energy. 

“Passing this resolution is a huge next step for EAC!” says Environmental Action Committee (EAC) officer Alexa Carrera in a quote to the Echo. “As you can imagine, implementing a project as big as solar panels on campus is big, and it’s going to take time. I expected this project to be the most challenging out of all the projects that EAC has going on. I think this resolution really helps to put our voices out there and really get the administration’s attention.” 

The resolution was curated by the EAC as another attempt to pass actions towards carbon neutrality and a more sustainable model for decision making. After a 2019 resolution entitled the “2030 Carbon Neutrality Resolution” that was not able to pass, the Solar and Carbon Neutrality Resolution was able to take its place and pass to take the next step towards carbon neutrality on Augsburg’s campus.

EAC is also not working alone with this project. Both the Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) and EAC are working with a solar company called Solar Spark Energy to obtain factual and comprehensive information on the installation and effects, both negative and positive, of having solar panels on campus. No action is being taken with this collaboration and it is purely for information gathering.

The next steps for the Solar and Carbon Neutrality resolution is to have it move towards the higher powers in Augsburg such as Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg University President, Karen Kaivola, Provost, Rebecca John, Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Griesse, Dean of Students

and Stephen Jendraszak, Associate Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer. The EAC is also trying to spread the word about the resolution as much as they possibly can. “We are posting it on A-mail every day this week to really get the word out there,” said Carrera. 

As of right now, Augsburg has been purchasing solar power from a local solar farm. According to the resolution, solar panels would be installed on the roofs of Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion. According to facilities and management, these buildings were designed to hold solar panels. The where and how of this solar panel project is not really a setback when thinking of what still needs to be done for us to get solar panels on campus. “ In terms of other setbacks and other things standing in the way, I would say financially, this project is expensive. It is not cheap to install solar on campus, so finding the resources to fund it is challenging,” said Carrera. “However, my hope is that we will be able to realize that in the long-term, installing solar on campus will save us money, and will definitely be worth it!”

Students can view the entire Solar and Carbon Neutrality resolution through A-Mail. Students who want more information and ways to get involved with sustainable actions on campus are encouraged to check out the EAC at their Instagram, @augsburg_eac.