Petition for an Environmentally Responsible Expansion
We, the students of Columbia and members of the community, earnestly request that you upgrade the LEED standards of the Columbia Manhattanville expansion from Silver LEED standard to Gold LEED standard. Columbia should be the leader for an environmentally conscious New York City. The University has already made a commitment to the environment through prestigious programs such as the Earth Institute and by creating an environmentally friendly dorm environment through the EcoReps program. Improving the LEED standard from Silver to Gold would be the next step towards a more environmentally-friendly Columbia. An increased LEED status would foster a better relationship between the Manhattanville community and the University. One of the chief concerns of the outraged community is the environmental consequences of the Manhattanville project. If Columbia took the initiative to increase the LEED standard, we firmly believe that tensions between the environmental community and the University would dramatically decrease. In addition, a higher LEED standard would reduce the cost of the Manhattanville expansion over the long term. Yes, a higher LEED standard results in a higher initial cost, but it also reduces the operating costs and repairs while increasing productivity gains.