Students lead day of action to combat climate change
By Alex Schmidt '16
Loyola joined 60 college campuses across the United States on October 2, 2015 for Know Tomorrow, a student-led demand for action on climate change. Hosted by the Student Environmental Alliance (SEA), Loyola’s Know Tomorrow event brought awareness to eco-friendly living habits and collected environmental petitions.
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Christie Kochis, a junior studying Environmental Science and President of SEA, helped plan the event over the last three months. “The purpose of Know Tomorrow is to raise awareness on climate change of course, but also get in people’s minds that there are individual actions people can do to influence change.” Kochis said
Know Tomorrow on Loyola’s campus was a tabling event in the Damen Student Center with free posters, buttons, and Potbelly sandwiches. Students participated in the photo campaign by pledging various ways to be more environmentally friendly, such as turning off the lights and taking shorter showers. They also signed petitions.
Sai Cheekireddy, a senior studying Biology, pledged to buy a Tesla car. “I want to move towards clean energy, and I think others should too” Cheekireddy said.
192 Loyola students signed a petition for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The petition includes requests to reinstate funding for energy efficiency and renewable projects, stop hydraulic fracking, support the Clean Jobs Bill, and invest more revenue in clean jobs.
With the UN Climate Change Summit in December quickly approaching, SEA presented another petition calling on international leaders to work towards 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The petition, sponsored by Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and the civic engagement website Avaaz.org, has collected 2.36 million signatures thus far.
Rebecca Yun, a junior studying Criminal Justice, was one of over 200 students to participate in Loyola’s Know Tomorrow event. “It’s important to bring awareness to these issues on campus” she said. “It’s not like we have another planet."
Yale, Stanford, University of Chicago, DePaul University and Iowa State University were among the other universities that participated in Know Tomorrow. Events included rallies and speakers, such as Al Gore speaking at Stanford University.
U.S President Barack Obama sent a letter to Know Tomorrow thanking all the students involved in the Day of Action.
“We must join in common purpose to confront this threat and safeguard our world for the generations to come” he said. “I hope you continue to dedicate yourself to shaping a more resilient and sustainable future and to driving our country’s progress on climate change in our time.”
Learn more about Know Tomorrow and their National Day of Action on October 2, 2015.