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Narrative
Student Environmental Center Through the Years

Student Environmental Center Through the Years

A Timeline of Student Agency through the Environmental Justice Movement

Contributed by Student Environmental Center

On a National Level:

1970 | First Earth Day & Formation of Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency was created following the increase of public interest in the protection of the environment. The EPA focuses on maintaining the health of humans and the environment through research and legislation.

2008 – 2012 | CA Drought & Recession

The drought, along with record-breaking temperatures for the state, had large impacts on the agriculture industry and farmers, wildlife conservation, wildfire frequency, among others. Some argue that financial constraints hindered the process of environmental policy and international action on climate change, while others argue that the recession reduced the consumption of natural resources, easing the burden on the environment.

2019 | US Green New Deal (GND) drafted by AOC, Jill Stein, Bill de Blasio & the first UC GND coalition forms

The GND is sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). This resolution is designed to be used as a framework when assessing environmental issues with the hopes to re-engineer systems that are currently driven by unjust power and influence practices.

On a Local Level:

1965 | Birth of UCSC & the Climate Movement

2001 | SEC was formed by students

The space aimed to create consistent dialogue and action to help UCSC students understand and gain a critical awareness of their environment while pushing UCSC to better institutionalize sustainability. These conversations reflected on its intersectionality and inclusivity practices, aiming to uplift all student voices.

2002 | First Earth Summit

The Student Environmental Center brought together students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members to discuss the state of sustainability at UCSC.

2003 | First UCSC Blueprint & passing of Measure 9 

The Campus Sustainability Programs Fee (Measure 9) is approved by a student vote. This established the funding for the annual Earth Summit, where the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus is drafted by the student body as a guide to sustainability at UCSC. This fee also supports student environmental organizations on campus. 

2020 – 2021 | Demand for student agency at UCSC

Organizers from Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the grad student union UAW2865 came together to demand a COLA-—Cost of Living Adjustment—regardless of folk’s residence, visa, employment, or funding status. Over 200 graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and lecturers went on strike for months in support of student demands.

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