The year’s almost over, and YSEC is looking for a new board! There are four positions open: president, vice president, treasurer, and events coordinator. If you have any questions as to what these roles entail, please email any of the current board members.
Here’s the application: 2013 Board Application
Email your completed applications to email@example.com. Applications are due on Wednesday (April 24, 2013).
You’ve heard of the divestment movement. Bill McKibben sparked the conversation about responsible endowments this summer with his article in the Rolling Stone. Since then, countless other articles about it have been published in the New York Times, Huff Post, the Nation and our very own YDN. Even Harvard has developed a robust campaign.
Now the students of Yale are stepping up. Help us become leaders in the national campaign for sustainable endowment investments.
SIGN THE PETITION at fossilfreeyale.org.
And like the Facebook page while you’re at it: www.facebook.com/FossilFreeYale
If you’re on campus, attend the huge kick-off event for Fossil Free Yale on Saturday, February 2 at 4:00pm in LC 211.
Dinner in Branford College Dining Hall, Monday, 11/5/12, 6 p.m. with Florence Williams
YSEC is invited to join Florence Williams, founder of YSEC, for dinner in Branford, either in the small dining room just beyond the fireplace at the far end of the dining hall or perhaps at a table near the fireplace. This will be a fun chance to hear about the early days of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and about the modern work of an environmental writer. Acclaimed popular science writer and Yale Fellow, Carl Zimmer, plans to be in attendance as well.
If anyone wants to look at some articles by Florence William, a collection is at <http://www.florencewilliams.com/article>, and here are three for easy reference:
Florence Williams, “How a Bunch of Scrappy Marines Could Help Vanquish Breast Cancer,” Mother Jones, May/June 2012, available at <http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/05/camp-lejeune-marines-breast-cancer-florence-williams?page=1>;
Florence Williams, “A Mighty Wind,” Outside , January 2007, available at <http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/A-Mighty-Wind.html>;
Florence Williams, “Toxic Breast Milk?” New York Times Magazine, January 9, 2005, via <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/09/magazine/09TOXIC.html>.
By Ariana Shapiro:
People are catching on to the debate over fracking in New York State. They are catching on so much so that over 200 of them were crammed into Burke Auditorium in Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; in Connecticut, a state significantly removed from projected drilling and wastewater disposal sites. People crowded the aisles, sat on windowsills, and leaned against walls. A live stream was made available for hundreds of others, and is still available online.
The debate was broadly titled “Hydraulic Fracturing: Bridge to a Clean Energy Future?”, but upstate New York was clearly the main region of discussion. On one side was Bill McKibben of 350.org, who pushed the environment/climate argument against fracking, while recognizing that other arguments abound. His opponent, former Shell Energy president John Hofmeister, conceded that fracking is dirty but necessary and the highly complex practice (which he compared to heart surgery) is being improved continually. In the middle of the spectrum were Sheila Olmstead, a fellow at Resources for the Future, and James Saiers, a professor of hydrology and chemical engineering at the Yale Engineering School. Their arguments at times leaned towards McKibben’s, by acknowledging the health and social impacts of fracking, but never far enough to admit that fracking is inherently unsafe and therefore unviable. Saiers predicted that the moratorium will be lifted in New York and fracking will hit the state.
A couple lively exchanges of rhetoric between McKibben and Hofmeister roused the audience. In response to the title question, the former Shell exec said that hydrofracking is not a bridge, but “a highway to the future”. McKibben eloquently capitalized on that statement retorting: “hydrofracking is a rickety pier out into the lake of hydrocarbons”.
Later on, Hofmeister gave an impassioned speech condemning private campaign donations and declaring that Shell never has and never will contribute to political campaigns. He got an impressive round of applause from the audience, but his smugness disappeared when McKibben pointedly asked if Shell is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t know”, Hofmeister responded after an awkward pause, “We were when I was president.” McKibben went on to explain that the Chamber of Commerce is the largest lobbying group in Congress.
Having watched Bill speak many times before, I couldn’t help but pick up on a melancholy tone in his voice. He’s been saying the same things since 1989 – that we need to start acting soon on the climate crisis because the consequences will be extreme – and twenty-three years later, with the evidence of climate change affronting us every day, we’re still battling bureaucrats and plutocrats in basic defense of the planet. In Albany, Governor Cuomo has been trying hard to show he’ll follow the path of money, repeatedly refusing over the last four years to listen to the demands of a significant percentage of New York residents who oppose hydrofracking. However, with increasingly frequent and innovative actions against fracking, like Don’t Frack New York and a shutdown of Schlumberger in August, we’re finally seeing a change in Cuomo. Today, the New York Times reports that the fracking process in New York will likely be delayed another year, until the completion of another review, including a public comment period.
This is huge news for the movement.
Bill McKibben needn’t be quite so grim. The news is looking up, and though we haven’t won yet, we can be grateful for the vibrant spirit of solidarity present on campus after the panel and a speech Bill gave later that evening calling for divestment from the fossil fuel industry. He inspired and enlightened a diverse cross-section of the Yale student body, convincing me that whether or not we are resting on the Marcellus shale, college students across the United States are getting fired up and ready to face up to the fossil fuel industry in all its manifestations. We won’t stop until they stop.
The summer has come and gone, and we’re already two weeks into classes…so it’s the perfect time to create some change on campus! YSEC has some very exciting projects in the works for this year, ranging from divestment to reusable to-go containers. Come to general meetings and get involved in project groups to learn more about the upcoming action.
General Meeting – Tuesday, Sept. 11; 8pm-9pm
Our last meeting seemed a little…tedious. So during this meeting we’ll be mixing it up with some games and an episode of the Simpsons (guess which one), followed by a friendly discussion and snacks (no nuts this time). Come to the Dwight Hall Library on Old Campus.
Farm Volunteering – Friday, Sept 14; 1pm-6pm
Have you made it to the Farm yet? Do you know what/where the Farm is? (Hint: it’s on Yale’s campus.) We don’t care what your answer to those questions are, because either way you should come volunteer with YSEC. We’ll be working from 1pm to 5pm (come whenever you can), and then eating delicious pizza (fresh from the oven!) from 5pm to 6pm. Here are directions to the farm: directions (scroll to the bottom of the page). Please RSVP to Justine (firstname.lastname@example.org), but feel free to show up without notice! Also, email anyone on the Board if you want to walk/bike/shuttle/cartwheel to the Farm with someone.
Green Drinks – Friday, Sept. 14; 9:30pm-11:00ish
Come chill with your favorite tree-huggers. Beverages may or may not be strangely hued. Davenport, Suite B32 (call Kat at 360-529-9052 to be let in).
NEVER ASK US YSECS.
WE’LL SAY “BECAUSE WE’RE HOT AS HELL”
AND YOUR CLIMATE’S HOT AS WELL.
SO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
TO SAVE THE EARTH.
YSEC WILL HELP, FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH.
Created for the 2012-2013 school year
YSEC Mission Statement
As Yale’s oldest undergraduate environmental organization and 501(c)3 non-profit, we advocate environmentally conscious behavior, responsible consumer choice, sustainable university policy, and environmental justice. We seek to partner with campus organizations, other colleges and universities, non-profits, and major international initiatives to bring our objectives to light at Yale, within New Haven, and around the world.
As the umbrella organization for environmental groups on campus, YSEC allows students and groups with similar interests to communicate and collaborate smoothly. YSEC creates a support system for project groups by providing funding, transportation, training, coordination, and office resources.
YSEC advocates action over hierarchy, but we believe that delegating roles and responsibilities results in more efficient action. The goal of our coalition structure is to be a catalyst for action by uniting students and facilitating coordination, by supporting leadership at every level to cultivate the adaptability and spontaneity crucial to the protection of our changing environment.
Purpose of the Constitution
This YSEC Constitution is intended to explain the structure of the coalition, define resources available to project groups, and clarify what YSEC asks of project groups. Explicitly stating this information should make it easier for YSEC members to know to take advantage of available resources, help project groups communicate with the Board, and make clear how the Board intends to facilitate coordination among groups.
The YSEC board exists to facilitate Project Group activity and plan coalition-wide initiatives and events. The board handles the paperwork to maintain YSEC funding and resources, physically maintains the YSEC office meeting space, keeps track of the whole Coalition’s activity, and communicates with the public regarding the Coalition as a whole.
Currently, a four-member Board represents YSEC. The four positions are President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Events Coordinator. Applications for Board positions occur in mid-Spring for a year long term. New Board members are selected by the previous board via consensus. If a current Board member re-applies for another term, he or she will not be part of the decision-making process for any of the positions. If, for any reason, a Board member becomes demonstrably incapable of completing his or her duties, the other Board members may decide to select a new member to re-fill that position.
The Board is responsible for planning weekly YSEC meetings, maintaining the YSEC office space, fulfilling Dwight Hall member group requirements, maintaining the YSEC budget and tax-exempt nonprofit status, scheduling classroom space for Project Group meetings, sponsoring campus events, and basically making sure YSEC operates as a well-oiled machine (using renewable energy, of course). Descriptions of Board member roles are posted on Board applications.
Board members must meet each week to discuss Coalition coordination, budgeting, and collaboration with groups outside Yale. Board members must attend each weekly YSEC meeting except in dire circumstances.
Resources Available to Project Groups
Project groups are allocated $250 annually for discretionary spending. Additional funds may be distributed according to need, if they are budgeted at the start of each semester. YSEC will also maintain a budget for unexpected expenses, which can be applied for on a rolling basis throughout the year.
All approved funds spent shall be reimbursed by check by the YSEC Treasurer. All funding approval is subject to the discretion of the Board, but because the Coalition aims to fund environmental advocacy, project groups are assured that when YSEC is incapable of providing funding, the Board will actively assist leaders in securing other financial sources. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, YSEC is partially restricted in dispensation of funds, but the YSEC Treasurer can assist in finding additional avenues of funding.
A complete up-to-date list of resources other than funding available to project groups through YSEC is posted on our website, http://yaleysec.wordpress.com/.
Communication with the Board
Project group leaders are expected to meet with the Board in the beginning of the year to plan and budget funding. Throughout the semester, Project Groups are encouraged to maintain contact with the Board through the Project Group Liaison. If they fail to meet with the Board in the beginning of the year, or contact the Project Group Liaison, they may be denied funding or other resources.
All significant events must be reviewed by the Treasurer, who will track event waste and efficiency.
Project groups should email the President with information to be shown in the weekly newsletter or on the website.
The Project Group Liaison will update the Coalition with summaries of each project group’s activities at the beginning of each meeting. Project Group Leaders are encouraged to communicate with the Project Group Liaison in order to make sure that the coalition hears about their work.
Project group leaders are expected to attend the weekly YSEC general meetings at least once per month, unless a significant excuse is provided. If the Board determines that a project group leader is not attending enough meetings, then they will be pilloried and subjected to public shame.
This Constitution was written to articulate the existing structure of YSEC, thus will be in effect at the start of the Fall 2012 semester unless objected to by any Project Group Leader or Board member. Amendments to the Constitution can be proposed by any member of YSEC through contacting the President. The Board may approve amendments.