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On the Quad: Higher Ed Institutions Urge Climate Target

On the Quad will be a monthly feature for This Week at AU collecting news and notes from around campus.

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AU joined 74 other colleges and universities urging the Biden Administration to adopt a strong carbon emissions reduction by 2030. 

The 75 institutions sent the White House a letter in early April calling for at least a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. Business leaders sent a similar letter. The Biden Administration would later commit to a 50-52% reduction. 

“As institutions that are educating the next generation of our country’s leadership, we care deeply about the future of the United States and the health of its people and economy,” the letter read. “Many of our colleges and universities are the largest employers in our cities and towns and play a key role in the long-term viability of our communities.” 

The group included institutions in 29 states and included HBCUs, community colleges, research universities, and tribal colleges. 

The letter commended the Biden Administration for leadership on climate change and re-entering the Paris Agreement. 

AU has been a leader on climate change, becoming the nation’s first urban campus and first research university to reach carbon neutrality. 

Pulitzer Winners Have Ties to WAMU 

Lisa Hagen and Chris Haxel began their work on “No Compromise,” the 2021 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative podcast as a part of the Guns & America reporting collaborative — a multi-station project funded by the Kendeda Fund and spearheaded by WAMU.  

Hagen and Haxel, who work at WABE in Atlanta and KCUR in Kansas City respectively, first started digging into the story of a ‘no compromise’ gun rights movement while working as reporting fellows for Guns & America.  They then teamed up with Graham Smith and Robert Little at NPR to turn this story into the limited-run — and now award-winning — podcast series “No Compromise.”

“The Pulitzer Prize for ‘No Compromise’ is a much-deserved honor for Lisa Hagen, Chris Haxel, Graham Smith and Robert Little. It validates the importance of deep reporting, long-form storytelling, and multi-station collaboration — qualities that make NPR’s journalism so unique and powerful,” said David Brotherton, fund advisor for The Kendeda Fund. 

“The Pulitzer is also a huge testament to WAMU’s leadership as the driving force behind Guns & America, that gave rise to ‘No Compromise’.”  

Jeremy Bernfeld and A.C. Valdez were the lead and senior editors on Guns & America and provided editorial and production support to the genesis of “No Compromise.” 

Expanded Wireless on the Quad 

Wireless coverage on the AU Quad expanded in March. 

Much of the Quad already received wireless coverage, but the grassy central area’s signal strength worked best for casual use like sending and receiving email. 

The center of the quad was upgraded to strong coverage in late March with improved strength and expanded coverage between Kay and Massachusetts Avenue. 

In addition to new access point locations which boost the wireless signal, the university installed access points on the emergency “blue light phones.”