In the News

The UIUC Beyond Coal campaign has received the attention of local media for its effort to bring about coal divestment.

1/20/2017: Beyond Coal Hosts Protest Potluck

Not every protest involves signs and megaphones. Beyond Coal and other members of the Students for Environmental Concerns at the University of Illinois held a potluck protest to coincide with the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration… read more

1/6/2017: From coal to carbon capture: Vintage Illinois power plant highlights challenges of energy transition

When the Abbott Power Plant began operation in September 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for a historic third term… read more

4/5/16:  UI Senate OKs resolution urging coal divestment

In a meeting focused on climate change — and budget concerns — the campus Academic Senate voted Monday to urge UI trustees to divest of the university’s coal-related holdings…read more

Academic Senate passes two environmental sustainability-driven resolutions

The Academic Senate made two moves Monday in support of decreasing its harmful environmental impact at the University.  The resolutions support changing Urbana-Champaign’s mutual fund investments to socially responsible investment funds to divest from coal companies and support the University’s 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan, iCAP…read more

4/2/16: UIUC Beyond Coal to rally before Academic Senate meeting

As public attention to global climate change has increased, UIUC Beyond Coal will advocate for the University to stop investing and using coal with a rally and vote held on April 4…read more

10/30/15: Students debate University divestment in coal

Beyond Coal teamed up with the UI Debate Team to host a debate about whether the University should divest in coal. Previous polls, as well as the student debate, showed that the majority of students are in favor of divesting in coal.

4/20/15: Do What’s Right and Divest
This is our school, and more importantly, this is our future. The University administration was hired to represent our school, and has failed to represent our decision to divest…read more

2/13/15: Beyond Coal hosts “Break Up With Coal” event
The “break up” theme was meant to play on Valentine’s Day and catch students’ attention. With love in the air, the Beyond Coal organization made it very clear that they would no longer like to have any relationship with the University’s investment in coal…read more


2/2/15: Central Illinois Daily Life: February 2015
Erika Weir, lower left, president of the University of Illinois Beyond Coal chapter, expresses her reason for coal divestment as fellow member Lindsey Mendelson, right, look on as the group holds a photo petition, with member, Claire Dodinval, background, snapping many of the photos, for the group’s Facebook page to protest the coal industry in Urbana on Friday, Feb. 13… read more.

12/1/13: Student Fossil-Fuel Divestment Movement Persists
The student campaign to press colleges and universities to divest from fossil fuels is entering a new phase, now that administrators at several top schools have said no. Students say the refusals from schools including Harvard, Brown and Cornell have been both a shock and … read more at Huffington Post (and dozens of other websites!)

11/20/13: Illinois College Students Vote Six to One in Favor of Divestment
Americans continue to demand clean energy from the local to national level, and here’s yet another amazing example of quick, successful organizing by college students in Illinois. … read more at Grist, Huffington Post, and Daily Kos

11/19/13: Students vote “yes” to divest from coal
15628_528b01868234b.imagefA majority of students voted “yes” to divest University endowment funds from coal in an online referendum question last week. UIUC Beyond Coal, an organization that is sponsored by the environmental organization Sierra Club, posed the sole referendum question on the ballot and released the results Friday. … read more

11/18/13: Next Steps for Beyond Coal
The University of Illinois proudly boasts its investments in sustainability. It researches alternative energy (such as biofuels), has built LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified structures, and has fostered the growth of many environmental RSOs…read more

11/16/13: Students want to end UI investment in coal
Students voting in an online campus referendum this week overwhelmingly supported a move to end University of Illinois investments in coal. The activist group UIUC Beyond Coal gathered 4,238 signatures to place a question before students in an online ballot asking: “Do you support the University of Illinois’ endowment removing investments … read more

11/13/13: Vote ‘yes’ on referendum on University divestment from the coal industry
This Wednesday and Thursday, students will have the opportunity to vote on the following question: “Do you support the UI endowment removing investments in coal by year 2017?” The University of Illinois system’s endowment, a “savings account” that it has built up over time and committed for long-term use across the three Illinois campuses … read more

11/13/13: Students: Vote yes to divest
What’s wrong with coal? Lots of things. University of Illinois student organization, UIUC Beyond Coal, urges students to VOTE YES TO DIVEST today and tomorrow in efforts to minimize the University of Illinois’ coal investment. This plan aims to remove University of Illinois’ coal usage by 2017. Here’s what UIUC Beyond Coal … read more

11/10/13: Army of young people addressing climate crisis
Most people who sympathize with the individuals and communities harmed by coal mining and natural gas extraction do so on the basis of media accounts or documentary films. That was previously the case for Leah Wurster, a University of Illinois undergraduate in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, who is also … read more

10/8/13: Environmental sustainability creates rift between community and lawmakers
But Rep. Davis has a rational point: The “war on coal” will essentially hurt coal workers. What he leaves out is that this goal toward sustainable energy will consequently create new jobs in the sustainable energy industry down the road. Peter Whitney, junior in ACES and copresident of the UIUC Beyond Coal campaign, summed up … read more

10/3/13: Davis condemns new EPA proposed policy
17890_524cddc0f40c9.imagefRep. Rodney Davis, R-13, released a statement on Sep. 20 condemning an announcement made by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding new standards for carbon emissions for power plants. The standards, proposed by the EPA, would only affect new power plants … read more

10/2/13: Students seek to shift UIUC toward sustainable energy
A group of University students will attempt to shift power consumption from fossil fuels to renewables at a mid-October conference in Pittsburgh. At the conference called “Power Shift”, over 30 members of the registered student organization Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) will unite with other people seeking environmental justice. … read more

9/13/13: Divestment key in addressing University’s strive toward environmental sustainability
While the Illinois Climate Action Plan is working to end our consumption of coal on campus, the Illinois investment policy is to export the costs of coal elsewhere and profit from it. This presents an unavoidable dilemma; the University administration is championing values in public statements, but funneling thousands … read more

4/22/13: Divesting with Beyond Coal
Among the variety of environmental clubs on campus, UIUC’s beyond Coal stands out. From rallies for divestment in front of the Alma Mater podium to silhouette posters around the quad illustrating the human cost of fossil fuels, beyond Coal is making strides in our local divestment campaign towards socially responsible investment … read more

3/8/13: Fired up about coal concerns
Tyler Rotche, Beyond Coal president and sophomore in LAS, pins an orange square on Felicia Speranske, Students for Environmental Concerns co-president and senior in ACES. The orange squares represent the unified student movement to divest from coal on college campuses. Beyond Coal … read more

2/15/13: Beyond Coal to help form ‘human pipeline’
Students in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal organization will join other environmental activists at The National Mall in Washington this weekend in an attempt to form the largest climate rally in history. The Forward on Climate Rally is a call to President Barack Obama to reject … read more

12/9/12: Beyond Coal supporters urge University to divest in coal
1968_50c56beb61b6f.imagefBeyond Coal ralliers chanted that no more coal is their goal at the Alma Mater on Friday.
Members of the Beyond Coal campaign, an initiative of the registered student organization Students for Environmental Concerns, encouraged the University to cut all investments in coal industry-related companies.
While the University has contended … read more

12/8/12: UI urged to dump coal holdings
URBANA — Students at the University of Illinois are urging trustees not to invest the UI’s money in coal, saying the fossil fuel accelerates climate change and endangers the environment and human health.
The university has no direct investments in coal, a spokesman said Friday, but … read more

12/7/12: Students Rally At U Of I To Divest

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign students were hoping to send a strong message today to the University administration urging them to divest from coal.
Those who attended the rally are taking a stance and trying to make the community a more healthy and livable environment … read more

11/29/12: Student resolution urges University to keep investments out of coal industries
Though University officials have said it is not currently invested in any coal companies, the Illinois Student Senate is looking for a promise for the future.
At its next Wednesday meeting, the senate will consider a resolution that proposes that the University never invest in coal and make all of its investments available to the public.
Felicia Speranske, chairwoman of the ISS subcommittee …read more

9/19/12: After agreement to end coal use by 2017, group aims to divest UI of coal interests
Following last year’s success in making the University pledge to stop using coal power by 2017, members of a University branch of the national Beyond Coal campaign are looking to take a further step: end any University investment in coal companies.
The group will strategize ways to persuade the University to suspend investments in coal companies at its kickoff meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the … read more

9/7/12: Homer residents concerned about proposed coal mine
Despite environmental concerns from residents, Sunrise Coal Company is moving ahead with its plans to build a bulldog coal mine in Homer, Ill.
The village of Homer, which is 20 miles east of Champaign-Urbana, is home to several farmers whose farms are up to seven generations old. The coal mine would extend for 20,000 acres under farmland, and coal would be extracted and washed …read more

11/17/11: RSO of the Week: UIUC Beyond Coal
Imagine attending class by candlelight, crouching by a fire to keep warm while discussing physics or Shakespeare, or actually having to write with a pen and paper rather than type away on a computer or smart phone. Imagine having to wear a wristwatch to find out the time, or not being able to text a friend or Facebook creep during a boring lecture… read more


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