With the year coming to an end, I wanted to give you a quick update on all the work accomplished this semester!
This semester, PIRGIM Students worked to phase out unnecessary single-use plastics and register new voters. Much of our pollution comes from unnecessary items that we’ve known for decades we shouldn’t be using. Single-use plastics are clogging our landfills, littering our communities, and polluting our parks and waterways. Here in Michigan, we’re seeing some of the worst impacts of this problem. More than 22 million pounds of plastic pollution end up in our Great Lakes every year. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our ecosystem for thousands of years. That’s why we’ve been working for the past year to phase out unnecessary single-use plastics from our campus. With the semester wrapping up, I wanted to send a quick update on all the work we were able to accomplish this Spring.
Break Free from Plastics
We think that Michigan State University can lead the way on this issue by becoming the first college in Michigan to sign the Break Free from Plastics Pledge. Through our events this semester, we now have collected petitions from over 1000 students and over 35 student organizations have endorsed this initiative. We have also been collaborating with RHS Sustainability to educate students on immediate ways to reduce our plastic use on campus and hosted cleanups to address the immediate plastic pollution we see. We can’t wait to see the next steps that Michigan State takes to continue setting an example for what it looks like to be a sustainable university!
New Voters Project
This semester we also worked to help turn out student voters! This semester we helped students register to vote in Michigan, and collected over 200 pledges to vote to help students get information about where and when to vote!
We also got some exciting news from Tuft’s Institute of Democracy and Higher Education’s National Study of Learning Voting and Engagement! The 2020 student voting rate was 66%, up from 52% in 2016.
In addition, for the first time since the NSLVE report was launched, the student voter turnout rate matched the turnout rate of the general population!
We have big plans next semester to continue to mobilize the student body for the 2022 midterm elections, as well as train the next generation of student activists!
We’re so excited about all the things we were able to accomplish this semester and are looking forward to hitting the ground running next year! Want to learn more about getting involved? Fill out this interest form.
Our campaigns next semester:
New Voters Project – With the 2022 Midterms around the corner, we’ll work with our campus partners to ensure every student on campus knows when, where, and how to vote!