Contact: Leigh-Anne Cole, [email protected]

Office: Woodland Commons 103

Who We Are:

The MASSPIRG Chapter at UMass Dartmouth started in 1974. MASSPIRG is a statewide, student-directed, student funded, non-profit, non-partisan organization which does research, education, service, and action on environmental, consumer, higher education, and hunger relief issues.

We are able to do all this because students here at UMassD vote to keep the chapter on campus and fund it through a $9 waivable fee that appears on the tuition bill. This money, pooled together with students from all across the state, allows us to have a much bigger impact on these issues at the state and national level, by hiring advocates, lawyers, organizers, and experts to help us run effective campaigns and have a much stronger voice where the decisions are being made.

Learn more about the MASSPIRG Fee at UMass Dartmouth here!

Current Campaigns:

  • 100% Renewable Energy: Climate change, primarily caused by our overdependence on dirty fossil fuels, is threatening our environment, our health and our way of life. The good news is that we have a solution; we can make the switch to clean, renewable sources of energy like wind and solar more easily and cheaply than ever before! That’s why we’re pushing to pass the 100% Clean Act through the state legislature by the end of this legislative session. By working on this campaign, we can make sure Massachusetts commits to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and 100% clean electricity by 2045!
  • Make Textbooks More Affordable: College is expensive, and the skyrocketing costs of textbooks and course materials are restricting students’ access to education even further. That’s why we’re raising awareness of Open Education Resources (OER) – low-cost (or even free!) alternatives to textbooks. We’re educating both professors and students about OER and mobilizing students against the rise of expensive access codes and other initiatives running up costs for students.
  • Hunger & Homelessness: No student should have to worry about where their next meal will come from or where they’ll sleep at night, but we know that this is the reality we are facing. We know that we have to do something about it, especially since COVID-19 has made this situation even more prevalent for many students. We’re working with UMass Dartmouth to raise both awareness and resources to combat food and housing insecurity across the South Coast of Massachusetts.
  • Protect Our Oceans: Our oceans are at rist. We can do better. We’re working to protect Cashes Ledge, New England’s ocean treasure, from fossil fuel extraction, overfishing, seismic testing, and other threats to preserve our incredible ocean ecosystems.

Recent Highlights:

Fighting Hunger On Campus: Last semester, more than 1,000 students took action on our campaign to pass Hunger-Free Campus legislation and help end student hunger. We held a statewide lobby day with our friends at the Hunger Free Campus Coalition to support the bill and turned out over 60 students and community activists. In just one day, we met with over 30 legislative offices and got FIVE legislators to co-sponsor the Hunger Free Campus bill. And we celebrated a victory when Governor Healey signed the annual budget which included $1 million for the initiative!

Making Textbooks Affordable: We recently released our 21st report on textbook affordability, titled “Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution” to call for more free open textbooks in classrooms. We worked with State Representative Mindy Domb to introduce a bill to fund OER resources in the state. And during Open Education Week, we held an online panel discussion on successful OER strategies with the MA Department of Education, Representative Domb, the UMass Amherst library, and our partners at SPARC.

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