October 3, 2011

Students Demand a Power Shift at Virginia Tech, Coal to Clean NOW

Photo Credit: Josh Lopez

This weekend over 200 hundred people from across Virginia converged in Blacksburg, VA for Virginia Power Shift! After an empowering weekend of workshops and trainings, Power Shift set it's sites on Virginia Tech's coal plant, an old and outdated plant that sits less than 50 feet away from student dormitories. Outraged by the health impacts (students report coal dust entering their dorm rooms, and increased incidence of illness like asthma and sinus infections), hundreds of us rallied at the student union and then marched to the coal plant to bear witness. Chants of "Hey, hey ho, this dirty coal plants got to go" were ringing across campus, and students were hanging their heads out of dorm rooms cheering us on!

There's much more to say about Virginia Power Shift and the fight to move Virginia Tech beyond coal, but for now check out these incredible photos and media hits:

Roanoke Times: "Virginia Tech Coal Plant Sparks Protest."

Virginia Tech's Collegiate Times: "Students rally for cleaner energy."

CBS, WDBJ7: "Students trying to get Virginia Tech to use clean energy."

Hundreds gathered at Virginia Tech for Virginia Power Shift

Virginia Tech Coal Plant Situated 50ft From Student Dorms
Virginia Tech operates a coal plant less than 50 feet away from a student dorm, Thomas Hall. The coal plant has an uncovered pile of coal, which brings coal dust into dorm rooms and students are reporting getting sick from it.

Maddie Rigatti, a sophomore at Virginia Tech lived in Thomas Hall last year and "told the crowd that students reported health issues such as asthma flare-ups, sinus infections, a cough that lasted for the academic year and constant headaches." - Roanoke Times

In this photo Maddie shows a photo of a rag that she used to wipe off her window sill.

We Need 100% Clean Energy!
We demand 100% Clean Energy Now.

All photos credited to: Josh Lopez