A climate change rally took place on campus this week as a part of a global climate strike.
The rally on Friday, March 15 at Western Michigan University was one of many student strikes occurring around the world led by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden.
“It is valuable for us… to learn a lifestyle for after college,” said Shannon Ervin, a senior freshwater science and sustainability student, and one of the organizers of the event.
Ervin believes that colleges serve as a sort of role model for how issues should be approached for in the world at large.
She said that colleges are “a place for us to place a standard for us and our community.”
Ervin also believes that WMU presents an opportunity for the progress of issues like climate change.
“We have the students that want the change,” said Ervin.
In addition to students and community in attendance at the event, there were representatives of several on campus and off campus groups, including the Campus Beet and the Sunrise Movement.
One speaker that talked largely about climate change as an issue to be dealt with on campus was sophomore Marshall Kilgore, a candidate for the Western Student Association presidency.
“I am the only candidate for student body president that has sustainability (as a focus) and…moving this campus towards global goals,” said Kilgore.
Kilgore also stressed unity and maintaining a sense of community by leading the attending crowd in a ‘Better Together’ chant.
Jon Hoadley, the Michigan state representative for the 60th district, also spoke at the event.
“We’re at a moment where the people who benefited from a system… are scared because people are recognizing the power we have together,” said Hoadley, speaking to the crowd at the climate change event.
Hoadley urged the attendees to exercise their right to vote in coming elections as a way to combat this issue.
“We have to stop playing by the rules that got us to this situation and adopt a new set of rules that will help us all live a better future,” said Hoadley.
Hoadley and other speakers at the event called for changes in approach and many of the speakers discussed the Green New Deal.