OSPIRG organizers held an event asking KFC to commit to phasing routine antibiotic use out of their chicken.

Photo: Rachel Deehan

Work On Critical Issues To Shape Our Future

As an organizer with the Student PIRGs, you’ll work with students to make a difference on important issues facing your community and your country. Take a look at some of our current priorities:

100% Renewable

America’s over 5,000 universities, colleges and community colleges are big energy consumers, with large buildings, many of which are open 24/7. At the same time, college campuses are largely self-contained communities, and therefore better able to find ways to generate all the power they need from clean, renewable sources—especially given the expertise among their faculty and the enthusiasm among their students for going green.

Cornell University, Green Mountain College and Colorado State University are among the campuses that already have committed to going 100 percent renewable. Our goal is to get 70 college campuses to commit to 100 percent renewable energy by June 2020.

To achieve these goals, our organizers are working with the campus communities at 50 campuses in 10 states. To date, over 350 faculty members from across the country have supported us in calling for commitments to 100 percent renewable energy—many of whom will prove to be valuable allies when we ask local and state government leaders to consider taking similar action.

No Bees, No Food

Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply. We rely on bees to pollinate everything from almonds to strawberries to the alfalfa used to feed dairy cows. What happens if the bees disappear? It’s simple: No bees, no food.

Scientists point to several causes behind the problem, including global warming, habitat loss, parasites and a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics).

Right now, we’re letting big agrichemical companies use more of the chemicals that are known to kill bees just as we’re in the midst of an unsustainable die-off in bee populations. That has to change. Now.

With the Student PIRGs, you’ll organize students—not just in classrooms, but in dining halls all across the country—to pass state and local legislation to ban these toxic pesticides, and get our campuses to go "Bee Friendly."

Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics

Livestock producers are routinely giving antibiotics to animals to make them grow faster or help them survive crowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions. Overusing these drugs—in humans or animals—breeds bacteria resistant to the antibiotics, threatening the future effectiveness of these medicines, and putting our health at risk. Every year, at least 2 million people get sick, and 23,000 die from antibiotic-resistant infections.

Given the stakes, we shouldn’t allow even one large-scale farming operation to overuse antibiotics in this way. And yet approximately 70 percent of medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. are intended for use in livestock and poultry.

We’re in a unique position to lead this effort. Our researchers, advocates and staff in 25 states are committed to protecting public health. We have a record of real results, including helping to pass similar bills in California and Maryland, and we helped use market-based pressure to get McDonald’s, Subway and KFC to phase medically important antibiotics out of their meat supply chains, starting with chicken.

As an organizer, you’ll help our efforts to build support for our call to stop the overuse of antibiotics.

New Voters Project

For the first time in 2018 our generation could be the biggest group of voters, and have a real impact on our elections. But unless we change things, less than half of the people around our age will actually show up to the polls, and only a third of those who voted in 2016 will come back this November 6th.

Are we going to continue to let our parents, and grandparents generations decide who shapes our future? We’re working on dozens of college campuses across the country to activate the largest voting block in the country. It’s our future, let’s vote on it.

Make Textbooks Affordable

College is already too expensive. Why are millions of students forced to pay hundreds of dollars a semester for brand new textbooks, especially when there are cheaper, smarter alternatives? We’re working to make sure students have access to these other options—at an affordable price.

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