XL Dissent

This past weekend Unity College students rallied alongside the approximate 1,200 students who traveled from 100 colleges and universities throughout the nation to attend XL Dissent.

XL Dissent*not sponsored by Unity College*

Canada’s Tar Sands Exposed: Exploring the Human and Environmental Costs

Orono, Maine

Wells Conference Center

Saturday February 1st 2:00-5:00pm

Departure time: 12:45pm


  • Garth Lenz: International award winning photojournalist.
  • Eriel Deranger: Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations (ACFN) Communities Coordinator.
  • Sherri Mitchell: Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation and Indigenous rights attorney. She will discuss the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), an international trade agreement, and how it is able to threaten local land use ordinances.

Visit this event on the 350.org website: http://www.350maine.org/tar_sands_speakers_tour

Canada's Tar Sands Exposed: Speakers Tour

Please e-mail by Thursday January 30th if you would like to attend!

E-mail: mtheberge11@unity.edu

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We Did It! Solar on the White House


Nearly three years after they committed to do so, the Obama administration is installing solar panels on the White House this week. The administration knows that this is an important symbol to an America desperate for climate leadership. In fact, we told them that in person when a crew of Unity College students teamed up with Bill McKibben and 350.org to launch an epic solar road trip from Unity College to Washington in 2010. Along the way, we rallied the troops in Boston, New York, and DC, before delivering a petition of over 40,000 signatures to the White House Council on Environmental Quality with a simple message for Obama: put solar back on the White House and show real leadership on meaningful climate policy.

Courtyard Panels

Since 1991, Unity College has been the proud steward of the solar hot water panels that were installed on the White House roof by the Jimmy Carter administration in 1979. Those panels were removed during the Reagan administration in 1986 and languished in government storage until Unity’s Peter Marbach secured them and brought them to Unity College. Sixteen of those panels heated water on our own cafeteria roof for over twelve years and many others have been restored by energy lab students and Professor Mick Womersley for museum loan and public display.

Two of those restored panels were featured in the 2010 documentary A Road Not Taken, which followed Unity College (now) alums Sara Trunzo and Jason Reynolds on a solar road trip of their own. The film — by Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller — uses the delivery of those panels to the National History Museum in DC and the Carter Center in Atlanta to explore the unrealized hope for a renewable American energy future.

This current White House solar installation brings us closer to that future. Symbols are important, and solar on the White House is a stirring symbol of climate commitment from the top. May this public statement and the President’s full Climate Action Plan portend even bolder climate leadership to come; our students demand and deserve no less.  Thank you, Mr. President, for heeding their call.

Unity Magazine: Divestment Issue

The fall 2013 issue of our Unity Magazine focuses on Unity’s leadership in the divestment movement from a wide range of perspectives.  The magazine includes articles from guest writers Bill McKibben of 350.org and Dan Apfel of the Responsible Endowments Coalition.  Read on.


350 Strategy Session Sunday


Unity College students are teaming up with our friends at 350 Maine to host this Sunday’s “Strategy Session” and 350.org webcast. Join our crew in Higgins Wing 210 at 7pm.

Can’t join us at Unity? Search for a session near you on 35o.org’s website:

On March 10th at 7pm EST / 4pm PST, we’ll host a video chat with Bill Mckibben and 350 organizers, which will cover the current political landscape and some ideas for what’s coming next for the climate movement. Afterwards there will be time for discussions with your group about your plans — generating new ideas, or making existing ideas better.

After, we’ll ask you to submit your ideas, and the following week we’ll have a national conference call to report back on what everyone discussed, so we can build our plans together, and learn from each other.

Unity College at Forward on Climate


Forward on Climate

Another trip to the White House

photo credit: Adam Welz

Unity College is going back to DC! This time to join the LARGEST CLIMATE ACTION the nation has ever seen. Many of you will remember, we’ve taken this trip before: in 2010 on the Solar Road Trip, the following spring to Powershift and a private meeting with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and again in November, 2011 when a squad of Unity students and staff — led by President Stephen MulkeyCircled the White House to say “no” to the Keystone XL Pipeline and “no” to tar sands.

On Sunday, February 17th, we’ll again join thousands and thousands of others outside the White House to support and challenge President Obama and his State Department to do the right thing: move Forward on Climate, and stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. Click the image below for details on the event.

Our concerns about the Pipeline are many, but it boils down to this:

  1. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline will unleash unbridled development, extraction, and use of Alberta’s tar sands oil, and
  2. emissions from burning that oil is essentially “game over” for the climate.

Read more about tar sands oil and “The Case for Leaving the Carbon in the Ground” from President Stephen Mulkey who a year and a half ago wrote:

 I urge all of us to take this science seriously and to act in every acceptable way to influence our policy makers to begin massive mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Join us in DC February 17th to do just that. Unity College climate champions, read on below for trip details.



  • Must register by email (click link) or sign up with the Sustainability Office, and submit $10 deposit by February 8th. Space is limited. Sign up NOW!
  • Must  attend pre-trip meeting February 12.
  • We’ll leave Saturday night, February 16th, on a charter bus with other Maine climate riders.
  • Rally in DC from noon to 4 on Sunday, February 17th.
  • Return from DC Sunday evening and return to Unity pre-dawn on Monday, February 18th.

Tar Sands Action – Portland, January 26

Tar Sands Rally Jan. 26


Unity College is joining the Northeast Tar Sands Free rally in Portland, ME this Saturday, January 26th. President Stephen Mulkey (who previously joined the Tar Sands action to Circle the White House) will be a featured speaker at the event. This action is being coordinated by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, 350 Maine, Environment Maine, and the Sierra Club.

Click on the image above for details of the event.  And for more resources on the climate and environmental impacts of tar sands oil, see 350 New England’s Tar Sands Tool Kit.

If you’re a Unity College student and want to join us on Saturday, read on and REGISTER WITH THE SUSTAINABILITY OFFICE to secure a seat in the van:

Saturday Schedule

  • 11:30am – Marchers meet at Monument Square, Portland
  • 12:30pm – March to Maine State Pier
  • 1-2pm – Rally at Maine State Pier
  • 5-5:30pm – Arrive at STUDENT ACTIVITIES BUILDING

*Participants are responsible for their own food throughout the day’s events.
*It will be COLD on Saturday and we could be outside for up to 5 hours. Dress warmly. Current predictions are for a high of 23 F, partly sunny.
*We will make every effort to return to campus with enough time for meal plan students to have dinner at Wyman Commons.


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