On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Associated Students Board of Directors passed a resolution to oppose the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.

The resolution was submitted by the Western Action Coalition, an AS club, and AS Vice President for Governmental Affairs Iris Maute-Gibson.

The resolution passed with four out of seven board members voting in favor.

By passing the resolution, the AS has taken an official stance on the controversial construction of the Cherry Point coal-exporting terminal, which would be located about 20 miles north of Bellingham.

If constructed, the terminal would ship coal primarily to China and significantly increase train traffic in Bellingham.

The resolution states that the proposed terminal would have numerous detrimental effects on the Bellingham community, including degrading "community health by increasing pulmonary, cardiac, cancer, and safety risks because of the diesel particulate matter, coal dust, noise exposure and delayed emergency response times, according to 160 Whatcom County physicians," as well as harming "the local economy by necessitating up to 18 mile and a half long coal trains a day."

Members from the WAC, a club dedicated to encouraging social activism, presented information about the importance of the board taking a stance on the coal terminal issue.

Eric Jensen and Natalie Eberts, both WAC members, said having a clear stance on the issue would encourage decision makers to take a similar stance against the terminal, give more legitimacy to student support and sentiment and raise visibility of the issue among the Western community.

Jensen and Eberts said 16 other AS clubs also opposed the coal terminal. In addition, the resolution also states that the board recognized that "463 students have already signed a petition opposing the coal terminal."

Maute-Gibson was particularly passionate about adopting the resolution and urged the board to vote in favor.

"I would not have sponsored this resolution if I did not feel that this was a large responsibility that we have to our community within the student population, outside the student population and to the future students that fill this college," she said. "I think that by not taking a stance on this issue, we are not living up to the goal of these positions to ensure in the future that students have a safe place to participate in higher education here at Western."