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CALPIRG Students Fall Update

By CALPIRG Students

Here at CALPIRG we’ve had an amazing year fighting for social change on some of the biggest issues affecting students. We wanted to give you an update on our work this fall.

100% Renewable Energy -  We need to take strong action to stop the worst impacts of global warming. That means moving away from dirty energy and getting 100% our energy from sources like solar and wind. 

We think the UCs should lead the way! So, we’ve been working to get the UCs to commit to 100% clean energy. And we’ve built up a lot of support! We’ve collected 12,200 petitions, held educational events like a solar-powered concert at UC Davis and educational forums at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, met with campus administrators and student leaders, and attended UC Regent meetings to engage campus and community leaders in the effort.


​We’ve also been building support to pass SB 100 through the state legislature to commit the state of California to 100% clean electricity by 2045. We’ve collected petitions, signed on 100 student leaders in support, generated hundreds of phone calls in legislators’ offices, and organized two lobby days with dozens of students in Sacramento.

There is a lot of excitement for the push for 100% clean energy, but we need to keep up the work and plan to keep building support next semester.

Making college more affordable - The Pell Grants are the foundation of our national investment in higher education, and are essential for ensuring low-income students have the opportunity to attend and complete college. But Congress has proposed cutting $2.3 billion from the Pell Grant surplus, which could potentially cut aid to thousands of students. So we’ve been working to get our US Senators to fight back and working to build support by getting petitions and photo petitions and tweeting at our Senators. 


We’ve also been working to address the high cost of textbooks - The average student spends over a thousand dollars each year on textbooks. The latest product being promoted by textbook publishing companies are access codes, which takes course materials and put them behind an online pay wall. Now, a $100 access code seems affordable compared to a $300 textbook, but it puts low-income students at a disadvantage. Instead of sharing a book with a friend or borrowing from the library, they have purchase the access code.

So we’re working to get professors to take a pledge that they will put keep affordability in mind when assigning course material, including thinking twice before assigning an access code. In just the last month we’ve met with 140 UC faculty, who signed on in support.

Finally, our UC chapters participated alongside student governments and other student organizations in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week.  Through educational events and service on campus, we worked to bring attention to the issue of poverty and hunger both on campus and in the larger community.  We raised hundreds of dollars and collected hundreds of items for campus and community food banks, and educated students on ways they can help address this problem.

We’re proud of all this work and the efforts of hundreds of students across the state.

But we couldn’t have done it without the support of the UC community. With your continued support and our professional staff advocating on our behalf, we will keep making a big difference on the issues that matter to students.

Keep posted on our work by following us on Facebook.