“New Prez, New Plan”: Fridays For Future Protests Begin

The club hopes to bring light to many sustainability issues on campus, with a new president they are hoping for a new plan to push the school in a more sustainable direction.

On the morning of Oct. 1, the Environmental Alliance held a protest outside of the Humanities building on campus to show support for the cause of carbon neutrality.

The description on Engage reads, “We are protesting for carbon neutrality from the school and promoting environmental consciousness amongst our campus community, meet us outside of HUMANITIES on Oct. 1 at 11 a.m. to show support for our cause.”

This was their first of many “Fridays for Future,” protests that will be occurring on most Fridays starting with the one held on Oct 1. 

The club’s Historian Emma Paulsen explained Fridays for Future, “I think we were kind of inspired by Greta Thunberg and a lot of other young activists that started the Friday’s for the future protest. And it has really grown from Sweden into a worldwide movement that happens every Friday. I want to be a part of it and we want to be a part of it.”Adding that, “everybody should and can protest.”

“Carbon Neutral By 2030 -> New President New Plan!” “Save the Planet,” “Fridays 4 Future” and “End Climate Silence” and other chalk writings, drawings and posters lined the outside of the Humanities building.

Posters read, “The earth is our home end climate silence,” “The surface temperature has risen, end climate silence, climate change is here and it is real,” “Climate silence, speak up,” “End climate silence,” and “Keep the Earth clean, it’s not Uranus.”

One popular chalk writing read, “New Prez New Plan.”

Secretary of the Environmental Alliance, Katie Gudzik spoke on this saying, “The new president has to have a concrete plan of action for our campus to not just be talk on our plan to be carbon neutral by 2030, as well as including solar energy, renewable energy, more sustainable food options on campus, no plastic that is disposable. Keep the reusable program coming and growing.”

“I echo everything Katie said. No more taking any sort of money from fossil fuel companies. Just a commitment to work with the students, and actually hear us out and a plan to actually implement what we have to say,” Paulsen added.

Another main point Gudzik discussed was sustainability talk within classes, “Increase sustainability education on campus. Not just the three or four professors that actually include it in their classes because they enjoy it. I know a lot about it and want to spread the word. We need classes, not just in the honors program about sustainability education. It can be a GE for other students to take for any students to take.”

 Second year childhood education major, Dan Harrington also attended the protest, “Sustainability is really important to me. I joined the club hoping that I could make a change on campus and stuff.”

 “Along with the other people here I see a lot of improvements that the school can make in sustainability. A lot of stuff like how energy is used across campus and a lot having to do with food or disposable paper plates and silverware,” Harrington added.

Second year, geography major Marissa Trojan said, “It was not what I had hoped it would be. I think there should have been more advertisements and I am gonna work with the eboard to think of some more creative ways to have our message be heard. I’d like the school to hear our concerns and wishes towards sustainability. I think that when students can see messages such as those.”

The Environmental Alliance formerly known as the Climate Action Club and Student for Sustainable Agriculture (SUSAG). Their club description reads, “[we are a] passionate organization on campus that brings students together who share a love for environmentalism, specifically in the aspects of environmental justice and sustainable agriculture. We strive to educate the university about the climate crisis and push for sustainable practices to be used. We believe that protests are the backbone of every social movement and allow all voices to be heard.”

The club meets on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and can be found using the email npenviornmentalalliance@gmail.com or on Instagram @ecoallies_np.

The Eco Allies club will be holding protests every Friday amongst other events.

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About Zoe Woolrich 59 Articles
Zoe Woolrich (she/her) is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oracle. Over the past five semesters she has served as Copy Editor, News Editor and Managing Editor. She is fourth-year media management major from New York City. You can contact her at woolricz1@newpaltz.edu.