University of Michigan Fall 2021 Update

Break Free from Plastics

Our focus this semester was to phase out single-plastics from the University! Single-use plastics are clogging our landfills, littering our communities, and polluting our parks and waterways, including the Huron River and the Great Lakes. Not to mention, single-use plastics are made from fossil fuels and their production contributes to our worsening climate crisis. We worked to build support from students to convince the University of Michigan to lead the way on this issue by becoming the first college in Michigan to sign the Break Free from Plastics Pledge. Last semester, we worked with Central Student Government to pass a resolution calling on the University to do just that. This semester, we collected petitions from over 400 students and worked with several student organizations to endorse this campaign. We also held a community clean-up where our volunteers picked up over 200 pieces of trash and conducted an audit of the brands and types of plastic that they found. Through these efforts, we were able to meet with a member of the Dean’s Office in the College of Literature, Science, and Arts about making a commitment to go plastic-free. 

New Voters Project

We also worked to help turn out student voters! This semester we participated in National Voter Registration Day to help students register to vote! We worked with Turn Up Turnout, The Ginsberg Center, and the All-In Challenge to host tables on both Central and North Campus, and over the course of the day we helped over 50 students get registered to vote! 

We also got some exciting news this semester 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’re happy to see that after our and our partners’ efforts to turn out students to vote here at the University, the student voting rate was 78%, which is 12% points higher than the national average!

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:

  • Break Free from Plastics – We’ll continue our work to phase out unnecessary single use plastics on campus and commit UM to be the first campus in the state to sign the Break Free From Plastics Pledge!
  • 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!

Apply for an internship for next semester!

Good luck with finals,

My Duyen Nguyen, Plastics Campaign Co-Coordinator