Thursday, December 27, 2007

Focus the Nation at Champlain

This past year, I signed on to be an ACRL Legislative Advocate. It has been a fascinating appointment: I send information about important legislative issues out into my community to rally support from my college and immediate community while informing them of the issues that impact their ability to access information as well as remind them of their power as voters.

One particular issue that I am excited to support is the HIGHER EDUCATION SUSTAINABILITY ACT. Here is an update by Kara Malenfant, our contact as Legislative Advocates:

On November 9, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller unveiled the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (HR 4137) that reauthorizes the Higher Education Act. At the request of many of the 17 co-sponsors of HESA, Chairman Miller included HESA in HR 4137.

Subsequently the Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2007 (S. 2444) was introduced into the Senate on December 11 by Senator Patty Murray. HESA is co-sponsored by Senators Bingaman, Dodd, Kennedy, and Kerry. Such a powerful list of Democratic co-sponsors puts HESA in an excellent position.

The House is expected to vote in mid-January on the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (HR 4137) that reauthorizes the Higher Education Act and also includes HESA. If it passes, then the conference between the House and Senate (which has already passed their new Higher Education act) should occur shortly thereafter. This conference will decide which of the 30+ new programs including HESA make it into the final bill.

Environmental literacy is vital to our ability to fight global warming in a longterm, sustainable, and proactive way. Champlain is involved in
Focus the Nation, to turn our energy and attention to finding solutions for global warming. Champlain is joining more than 1000 other institutions nation-wide on January 31st to bring our attention to finding solutions for Global Warming. We are excited to welcome Bill McKibben as our keynote speaker and we have a bunch of events lined up including a Teach In, a sustainabiltiy expo, and a film series.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact Sarah Cohen or Rob Williams (we are both at the Miller Information Commons). One of the best things you can do is to come to events and bring your friends. Educating yourself is vital to finding solutions; learning more is doing something.

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