Hi! My name is Annalise Abraham and I am a sophomore studying Environmental Studies. I am a member of the professional environmental fraternity Epsilon Eta Delta and an organizer with Fossil Free Pitt Coalition. I want to serve on Student Government Board to uplift the amazing work students and student groups are already doing on campus.
As a board member, I want to work on improving Pitt’s sustainability practices. Pitt is already doing great work around reducing our environmental impact, but sustainability also includes social and economic aspects. Pitt considers itself to be an environmental leader, but there are many more ways we can uphold the rights of the natural world and our fellow students.
Firstly, I want to address Pitt’s investments. Right now, Pitt has a $4.3 billion endowment. Our most pressing issue is to divest the endowment money from the fossil fuel industry. Until we do that, we will be complicit in the climate crisis. Beyond that, once divestment occurs, students must be involved in the reinvestment process. Overall, as stakeholders in the University we deserve a say in our school’s investments.
I also want to reduce the cost of food in our dining halls. One idea I have is to develop an easy platform through which students can share dining dollars and swipes at the end of a semester. This would allow fewer dollars to go to waste and would help students struggling with food insecurity. I also want to create a way through which students struggling to make ends meet can be given a small set of swipes or dining dollars to help them out until they get readjusted. Access to nutritious food is a human right, so we need to make sure that everyone at Pitt has the resources they need.
My third main initiative is to provide more resources for housing issues. This means expanding programs to educate students about their renters’ rights. I also want to expand our programs to collect and recycle furniture and other items at the end of the school year, both on and off-campus.
I value my time at Pitt because of the people I have met here and the things I have learned. As students, I believe we are the biggest stakeholders at the University. We deserve to have our VOICES heard.