Dismantling MSC smokestack a small step toward MSU’s green future
As someone who has lived in East Lansing for 10-plus years and as a current MSU junior, I take a lot of pride in the colors green and white. I have been to countless MSU home football games — never once having to drive to Spartan Stadium — and walked past the famous MSC smokestack prior to entering. It serves as a great landmark for MSU, visible on TV screens nationwide whenever an aerial shot of Spartan Stadium is on camera. For the past 60 years, the MSC smokestack has served our campus well.
I currently am sitting in the Main Library across the river from the MSC smokestack as it is being dismantled brick by brick. Many have said this smokestack symbolizes the golden era MSU had during the times when the Shaw Lane Power Plant was still in use: A change of name from MSC to MSU, joining the Big Ten conference and the Hannah administration molding this university into a nationally distinguished school. These are accomplishments every Spartan should be proud of.
Unfortunately, this article is not about our campus’ past but about every inch it can gain toward the right path into the future. To do this we have to talk about the position we are in today. Today, MSU has the largest on-campus coal power plant in the nation, and it affects the health of everyone who walks around my East Lansing community as well as the surrounding Lansing communities. Today, President Lou Anna K. Simon and her current administration have not made a verbal commitment endorsing a clean energy MSU future. Today, we advocate “Go Green” while polluting the air by burning more than 300 tons of coal per day.
As a member of MSU Beyond Coal, I know for a fact there are possible measures to be taken by the administration to push us toward a cleaner future. But while the nonchalance of Simon and her administration toward this issue is duly noted, I will take the demolition of the MSC smokestack as a small step toward the right future: An MSU future that no longer runs on coal and instead uses renewable, healthy energy. An MSU future with newer, higher standards than even the old MSU had to offer.
But one thing about the future: It is not promised to us, we must take it for ourselves.
Ibrahem G. Wasti, English junior and member of MSU