Editor’s Note: This letter to the editor is a response to a Western Front Story.
The recent Western Front article, “Students of color petition administration for new building,” discussed the inadequate space and lack of support that the Ethnic Student Center and students of color on campus have experienced. The environmental clubs on campus stand in solidarity with the ESC and support its demands, including the demand for an entirely new building.
The link between environmental sustainability and racial injustice has been ignored within the mainstream environmental movement and at Western Washington University, resulting in a system that upholds, ignores, and benefits from white supremacy. The time for that trend to end is now. We understand a movement that fights for a livable environment cannot justifiably do so without also fighting for racial justice. This means recognizing many environmental problems, such as climate change and the water crisis in Flint are issues of racial justice.
The resources that are currently being provided to the ESC are not acceptable. The existing ESC space only fits 52 people when it serves a much larger number of students on campus. The ESC should have its own building on campus. We, the environmental clubs of Western, express our full support for the ESC and commit ourselves to working in solidarity with them to achieve their demands.
Galen Herz, Students for Renewable Energy
Julianna Fischer, Students for Renewable Energy
Rosa Rice-Pelepko, Students for Sustainable Food
Ryan Gluckman, Students for Sustainable Food
Leah Olver, Students for Sustainable Water
Trisha Patterson, Students for Sustainable Water
Kaitlyn Boyd, LEAD – Learning, Environment, Action & Discovery
Wendelin Dunlap, LEAD – Learning, Environment, Action & Discovery
Hannah Bouscher-Gage, #LocalImpact16 Conference Coordinator
Anna Kemper, AS Environmental & Sustainability Programs
Elle Mckitrick, AS Environmental & Sustainability Programs
Claire Manning, SEEDR – Students for Environmental Equity & Disaster Reduction
Willa Cooksey, SEEDR – Students for Environmental Equity & Disaster Reduction
Katie Thompson, WWU Net Impact
Henry Haro, Western Wilderness Trail Corps
Claire Anderson, Western Wilderness Trail Corps