Students for Environmental Action release letter to university regarding the expansion plan


Tim Malone, Associate Producer: Newscast

The student-run organization Students for Environmental Action (SEA) drafted a letter on Feb. 17 to the university regarding their concerns on the planned 2024 campus expansion called “South Quad.”

The school plans to build three new buildings all of which hope to pursue a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

However the SEA letter says that there is more that the school could be doing in regards to being more environmentally friendly and the school’s plans do not accurately reflect that.

The students in the organization are concerned of the lack of sustainability in the expansion, especially regarding the deconstruction of the environment on site.

According to the letter, SEA disapproves of the “plans to cut down hundreds of native trees, uprooting soil systems, and distributing a still healing ecosystem that has suffered damage from a changing climate.” Second-year journalism student Anya Grondalski is the public relations and marketing officer for SEA and wrote and drafted the letter.

“I think that they just need to proceed with more sustainability in mind, like thinking about when we’re sourcing the materials to build the ‘South Quad’ and to be clearing land, are we funding small businesses? Are we buying local and using sustainable materials?” Grondalski said.

The letter has had a huge show of support on social media with 210 likes as of Feb. 28 and many students agree with the contents of the letter regarding the deconstruction of the pine grove area on campus. Third-year student Trent Martini says the buildings will diminish Quinnipiac’s calming presence.

“It’s calm, it’s a nice walk, you can look out to the lake and see the nature and now we’re going to be obstructed by buildings, I don’t like it,” Martini said.

Second-year student Elyse Ostrove says that Quinnipiac’s connection to its natural landscape is part of it’s value.

“I’m honestly heart-broken by the news of it, the nature was the sole, biggest part of why I picked Quinnipiac,” Ostrove said.

The organization said in the letter “the theory of sustainability extends beyond that of nature, but to economic and social systems as well.” The letter then mentions how staff continue to receive pay cuts and layoffs.

“It kind of feels like a lot of money is being funneled into something shiny and new, instead of building upon what we already have, which is great teachers,” Grondalski said.

The project is set to complete in 2024.