Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 28.95
Liaison Thomas Wassmer
Submission Date June 17, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Siena Heights University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.67 / 2.00 Thomas Wassmer
Associate Professor of Biology
Biology
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Advocacy letter signed by Siena Heights University President Sister Peg Albert.

As leaders of congregations of Catholic Sisters whose members have lived and ministered in the State of Michigan for a collective 564 years, we call on our State Senators, Representatives, and Governor to enact legislation aimed at safeguarding our drinking water and protecting the precious God-given gift of fresh water that is our Great Lakes.

We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating quality of drinking water throughout our state, particularly as it impacts children and the most vulnerable. Exposure to lead and contamination by PFAS, toxic cyanobacterial blooms, and other pollutants are placing the health of millions of residents in our state and the integrity of the world’s greatest body of fresh water increasingly at risk.

We urge support for Governor Whitmer’s proposed Drinking Water Supplementals, which would provide $180 million in one-time infrastructure-improvement funds to promote safe drinking water. The funds would be used to replace lead pipes, enable schools to install filtered water-bottle filling stations, support PFAS remediation, and for water system optimization and local asset-management planning to help prioritize water infrastructure maintenance.

We also urge support for the Agricultural Pollution Bill (Senate Bill 247/House Bill 4418), which aims to protect the Great Lakes from waste produced by factory farms (also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs). The legislation would ban the application of manure, fertilizer and other livestock operations waste, like E. coli, hormones and antibiotics, on frozen or snow-covered ground – a practice that leads to waterway contamination.
Statement of Michigan Catholic Sisters Urging Support for Legislation to Ensure Safe Drinking Water and Protect the Great Lakes:
Water is a precious gift from God to all of creation and, as Pope Francis has written, “a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights” (Laudato Si’, 30). We urge our elected leaders in Lansing to do all they can to safeguard and protect our state’s cherished waterways and drinking water.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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