FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Loyola Students Roadtrip to D.C. in Biodiesel Van
Group to Attend Powershift ’09 to Demand Action on Climate, Energy, and Economy
CHICAGO, February 25, 2009 – From February 27 through March 2, 2009, students from Loyola University Chicago will join 10,000 other young leaders from across the country for an event focused on climate change and the environment, Power Shift ’09. Gathering at our nation’s capital, the students will demand that the President of the United States and Congress pass a bold climate and energy policy that prioritizes renewable energy, green job creation, and an aggressive cap on carbon emissions.
With 40 students attending, Loyola’s group is one of the largest from the area. In order to raise awareness of the contributions of vehicle emissions to climate change, some of the students will travel to D.C. in the University’s new biodiesel van. The van is a part of the Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP) program, which is an initiative of Loyola’s Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy (CUERP). In 2007, STEP was established as an action-oriented course for students to learn about energy issues through the framework of biodiesel production. At Powershift ’09, the STEP students will use their knowledge of alternative fuels as a springboard to lobby for federal action on climate change.
Student Environmental Alliance Co-President Lauryn Burkhalter hopes the trip will inspire. “The conference is the result of passionate organizers who put in a lot of time and effort.” says Burkhalter. “Hopefully, there are young people coming with us on this trip who have never seen this kind of activity before and will be encouraged to return to Chicago to carry out change on the University’s campus.”
In order to subsidize the trip, the students held a number of fundraising events, including a concert at the Heartland Café, which featured musicians from the Loyola Powershift group, as well as other bands who donated their talents to the cause.
In addition, students penned letters to the heads of their departments asking for departmental sponsorship and extra credit opportunities for conference attendees. As a result, students received a $700 registration scholarship from the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy and a $210 scholarship from the Environmental Studies /Sciences Program. CUERP is also supporting the trip by sending 10 students to D.C. via their biodiesel powered Dodge Sprinter.
“This really turned into a huge team effort, as students have put in their personal time to raise money, coordinate logistics, and petition departments for sponsorship,” said Burkhalter. “All of the money we have raised will be equally distributed throughout the group to cover expenses for the trip.”
The Power Shift ’09 summit kicks off on Friday, February 27, and will conclude on Monday, March 2, 2009, with a gathering of thousands on Capitol Hill. The four-day summit will include seminars, panels, and workshops; a green career fair; legislative briefings and activist trainings; and a day of action, where thousands of youth will flood the halls of Congress to lobby their local representatives.
About Power Shift ’09
Power Shift ’09 is organized by the Energy Action Coalition, which has grown over the past four years to include 50 national organizations, more than 700 local groups, and hundreds of thousands of young people, all working together to fight for clean energy solutions and the creation of a new green economy. For more information, visit www.powershift09.org.
About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Enrollment is more than 15,600 students, which includes more than 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s ten schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Loyola is consistently ranked among the “top national universities” by U.S.News & World Report, and the University was named a “best value” in their 2009 rankings. In addition, Loyola is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about Loyola, please visit LUC.edu.