Climate strike challenges politicians, leaders, to take action against climate change

Cove Collective and the Student Office of Sustainability are co-hosting a climate strike Sept. 20, encouraging students to walk out and voice their opinions


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The Student Office of Sustainability opened a new resource center on April 22, Earth Day, to serve as a location for sustainability assets for students.

The Student Office of Sustainability and Cove Collective, a new student-led, intergenerational arts and social justice organization, are collaborating to organize a community climate strike on Friday, Sept. 20. The strike will include student walkouts and a community march, with leaders spreading the word that all are welcome to attend, Lauren Becker, the director of SOS, said.

Travis DuChene, a member of the Student Senate and a climate change advocate, said the strike is not only for UW-Eau Claire students. Cove Collective is expecting a diverse group of community voices at the non-partisan march downtown.

“This is kind of a rare event in the fact that its students from UWEC,” DuChene said. “We have a few members from high school also going to be in attendance. We have community members, national and regional organizations, that are all coming together in unity.”

Becker also said she highlighted the “togetherness” aspect of the strike.

“The goal here is to have folks sharing their stories as we go, sharing their experiences and coming together on this,” Becker said.

Friday’s event will consist of making posters and open mics sponsored by the SOS, so everyone in attendance will have the chance to make their ideas and concerns known, Becker said.

DuChene said it’s especially meaningful that the strike is youth-led, as he said it gives those most affected by climate change the opportunity to be visible.

Additionally, Becker said that she was inspired by the passion of the students and community members who believe in the urgency of addressing climate change.

“The point of it is to not only educate but also highlight that we have a community here who is cognizant of what’s going on with our climate right now,” Becker said. “We are in the middle of a climate crisis and there’s no way to dance around that.”

It’s about more than just awareness; Cove Collective and the SOS are providing educational resources as well, which range from tips on becoming more personally sustainable to teaching attendees how to be sure they are voting for eco-friendly politicians in order to fight systemic opposition to climate change, Becker said.

“It’s no longer a discussion of whether or not it’s happening,” Becker said. “It’s a discussion of, ‘How are we going to take care of it?’”

Becker and DuChene both said they plan to continue to spread climate change awareness through their roles within the university and hope the strike this weekend will move more people toward change.

“In these sorts of times we are up against a crisis,” Becker said. “And, as young people, we have grown up in this, just knowing that it’s going to happen, just knowing that this is a fact, without seeing the change that we need to see… I think it’s beautiful to come to a place of hope and to come to a place of community and say, ‘We’re in this together.’”

The strike will begin with walkouts, poster-making and open mics at the UW-Eau Claire campus mall at 10:30 a.m. and will continue with a march downtown at noon.

Lopez can be reached at [email protected].