Campus Clubs Collaborate On Earth Day

On April 27 the Outing Club hosted its annual Earth Day Celebration event with over 20 clubs and a lineup of musicians and fun activities.
On April 27 the Outing Club hosted its annual Earth Day Celebration event with over 20 clubs and a lineup of musicians and fun activities.

This year’s Earth Day Celebration event was in full swing on April 27 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Old Main Quad. Festivities included a full line up of local and student bands, clubs and activities.

The event has been a staple of spring on campus for years, after stalling briefly during the pandemic. Last year, it was relaunched by Outing Club president Zoe Eagle, who then led the Earth Day committee, which is comprised of environmentally-focused clubs on campus. This year, Outing Club secretary Hannah Doak led the committee.

“It’s not a one club thing. It’s a bunch of different environmental based clubs coming together and creating a celebration. It is about the Earth, but it’s also just about everyone being connected. Celebrate the Earth, celebrate each other,” Doak stated.

The Music Collective, the Eddy at New Paltz, the Environmental Task Force, Justice is Global and the Faculty Development Center all co-hosted the event.

Last year, the event was held on Earth Day, but this year it was planned for the weekend following to make it easier for students and community members to attend. Members of the planning committee felt that this was important to allow the campus to connect with the town over the event.

It was planned to be two hours longer than last year’s, and there was a greater emphasis on bringing in artists to perform with the Music Collective. They wanted to have significantly more music this year so the Music Collective used their budget to pay the acts to perform. Capoeira, Betula and The Field Service, the headliner, played full sets up to an hour each in front of dozens of attendees on picnic blankets. O-Rama was initially scheduled to play but was forced to cancel only a few days before the event.

Tabling lasted from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., set up around the Quad from various clubs as well as outside groups such as Huguenot Street and Minnewaska State Park. The Student Art Alliance hosted a natural pigment making workshop, the Micro Farm had seed bomb making, the Eco Allies held a clothing swap and there was also a printing table with clothing and designs. The Zine Library brought zines out relating to environmental topics for attendees to read and the Poetry Club hosted Earth Day collage and poem making. Towards the end there was also yoga with Active Minds and the Athletic Wellness Center.

Qomunidad sold pandebono and carne empanadas to fundraise for their campaign in getting the Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies (LACLAS) program made into a department, as well as having a reception for other LACLAS programs in SUNY. They nearly sold out of both by the end of the event.

Justice is Global and New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) had petitions for a global climate cooperation pledge and the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, respectively. Various other clubs were also present with their own tables, totaling about 20 overall, making it a truly all-encompassing event.

After Capoeira, Betula and The Field Service performed, they handed it off to a few open mic performers. During the open mic, fourth-year visual arts major and planning committee member Wren Kingsley gave a speech on the importance of focusing on the climate at the local and community level. First-year international relations major, Justice is Global president and Qomunidad vice president Inka Urra Bodnar spoke to the necessity of intersectionality when discussing issues of climate change and environmental issues.

“We can’t talk about climate crises without talking about Latin America and the importance of larger global climate change cooperation. This is why when we have events like this. It’s important to amplify the voice of those being marginalized,” stated Urra Bodnar.

All throughout, there were students playing frisbee with the Gunx team in the center of the quad. Others were playing hackysack, throwing footballs, kicking soccer balls and slacklining as the weather continued to warm up throughout the day. There was also a drum circle by College Hall with various attendees joining in. To top it all off, starting at 2 p.m., pizza, salad and fruit were made available near Old Library, funded by the Outing Club.

Simultaneously, from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Wooster Hall, the International Student Union hosted its Multicultural Festival. They had a traditional clothing fashion show, performances from music and dance groups, food from local restaurants and more activities. Many attendees of the Earth Day celebration slipped away to Wooster to celebrate both events.

Planning for the event on the committee began the second week of the semester, with meetings being held every Wednesday up to their final one last week. As the meetings progressed, more and more people joined on. Last year’s planning had begun at the end of February, so Doak was glad to have more time this year.

“We really wish we started earlier [last year], so I wanted to make sure that we did. That’s why we were able to plan food and other out of school groups coming in.”

The Earth Day celebration was unfortunately cut an hour short by rain, preventing the jazz ensemble from playing. By this time though, tabling and most activities had already wrapped up.

Even with a few holdups during the event, Doak was happy with the outcome of all the committee’s efforts.

“I think that even though a few things didn’t go as planned, we still had a pretty good turnout. We had many students playing soccer and frisbee enjoying themselves, enjoying the food and picnicking while listening to the music. Overall, I think the students enjoyed it.”

The Outing Club plans on hosting the event again next year.

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