University Student Clean Air Network
by Carl Ingwell
USCAN is a University of Utah student group that gets students involved in university and government policies that both directly and indirectly affect Utah’s air quality. Activities will possibly include attending/organizing protests and rallies, lobbying, hosting educational events with the goal of raising awareness, legislator letter campaigns, and other related activities.
This winter I’ve been working very hard on various air quality issues along the Wasatch Front. In working with other air quality groups, we decided that students weren’t well represented in the air quality dialogue. I decided that there needed to be a student group to get students active in air quality issues in Salt Lake.
I had already began the process of forming a student group when I met the group’s co-chair Emma Zink. After talking about air quality in class, Emma approached me and said that we should begin a letter campaign that targeted our local government for their inaction on air quality. I thought this was a great idea, and probably something that a budding student group could work on. A couple days later, after figuring out that Emma was serious about the issue, I invited her to help found the group USCAN.
We are a brand new group, but we have many exciting opportunities in the near future. We are working on the above mentioned letter campaign to let our legislators know that we are getting frustrated with their inaction on the issue. We’re also working on increasing UTA ridership and taking other forms of alternative transportation to the University. Our last short-term goal is to start working on the “Change Our Air” fundraiser to raise funds to meet our minimal needs.
Students can get involved by either taking on leadership roles within the network to serve as organizers or by contributing through regular participation in said events. We are currently looking for people to fill the Public Relations and Group Coordinator positions. The Public Relations position would be in charge of manning our online operations and digital media, and reaching out to students, local media, and the surrounding community. The Group Coordinator position would be in charge of coordinating and planning, membership drives, letter campaigns, political actions, and other events to get group members and students involved. To get involved contact Carl Ingwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma Zink at email@example.com.
Currently USCAN is working on the letter campaign to make air quality a current and urgent priority in Utah legislature, increasing TRAX/bus ridership to the U, completing the “Change the Air” campaign, working on blocking the West Davis Corridor (a major north-south freeway that would further compound air quality problems along the Wasatch Front), and understanding the true respective contributions to pollution from various entities. Any and all ot these current projects have many opportunities available for other people to become involved now.