Students, faculty and the Dayton community gathered around KU to participate in the Global Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20 from 12-2 p.m.
At the gathering, people had the opportunity to make posters, register to vote, sign petitions and take a pledge to live a more sustainable life. Free stickers, pins and reusable straws were distributed.
Sustainable activities mentioned in the pledge were eating meat-free, using a bike or bus and reducing water usage.
There were also several speakers, including students, mechanical engineering professor Kevin Hallinan and student body president Bryan Borodkin.
A group also marched from the Caldwell Flyer bus stop to the Montgomery County Courthouse at 4 p.m.
“Let it be known that this was a collaborative effort with faculty, staff and students,” said Jared Marsh, one of the student organizers. “We are here to demand transformative action be taken. We are no longer talking about climate change, we are talking about a climate crisis.”
Marsh encouraged everyone to “start making pledges and commitments for a more sustainable future. [The] time to act is now. We are no longer talking about this, we are doing it.”
The event was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student and environmental activist. She created the “School Strike for the Climate” movement in 2018 that has culminated into the Global Climate Strike.
Across 150 countries, students and supporters walked out of school in solidarity “to demand climate justice for every human.”
“I am a huge advocate for the environment, and I think it’s really important that people join the conversation,” said Rosemary Drake-Brockman, a sophomore political science major.
She said it was important to have gatherings like the Global Climate Strike “to spread awareness because not a lot of people openly talk about [climate change] as much as they should.”
Another attendee, Grace Cannon, a sophomore human rights studies major, said she came to the UD Climate Strike because she believed climate change “is a real problem that our legislation needs to recognize.”
“This is not a political issue, this is a worldwide issue,” she said.