The Youngstown Shale Energy Organization at Youngstown State University is preparing to educate students about aspects of the oil and gas industry, including traditional drilling, hydraulic fracturing, industry regulations and potential careers.
Inspired by Ohio State University’s Buckeye Shale Energy Organization, the YSEO is “an educational organization,” said Marcy Angelo, co-founder and treasurer of the group.
“We want to have speakers come in and talk about various things with shale drilling and be very unbiased and just educational, so people can learn what’s going on in the area,” Angelo said.
Angelo and YSEO President Lauren Tadla are both junior geology majors. Sarah Perrine, vice president, is a junior who is majoring in environmental science.
Jeffrey Dick, chair of the department of geological and environmental sciences, serves as faculty adviser of the organization. He approached Angelo, Tadla and Perrine after contacting OSU’s organization.
“They’re three very outgoing young people,” he said. “They have an interest in working with other people and community service.”
The students met with the BSEO to brainstorm and began to shape their own shale organization.
“We took it upon ourselves, and we’re like, ‘You know what? This is a really good idea. This is something we should be doing,’” Perrine said.
YSEO welcomes all students to join. However, due to the risk of disruptive protest, membership is open only to students.
Since voters will have the chance to vote on the legality of hydraulic fracturing in Youngstown in May, Perrine said it’s important for students to be informed.
“A lot of people at YSU are voters, and this is something that’s going to be on the ballot,” she said. “It’s in our area, it’s right here, so we really want to do this as informational, not for one side or another.”