Fairfield Celebrates Earth Week 2013
By Allison McCourt ’13
What better way to appreciate the warm weather approaching than to take part in Earth Week 2013? This year’s events are sponsored by the Leaders for Environmental Action at Fairfield (LEAF).
“Earth week is entirely student directed,” said Dr. David Downie, associate professor of politics and director of the program on the environment. “Earth week is great because it allows students to organize events and actions that they believe will resonate with other students.”
“It is beneficial to celebrate Earth Day over the course of a few days,” said Alexandra Fylypovych ’14, a double major in English and individually designed major on the environment as well as the social media coordinator for LEAF. “Events and speakers occurring sporadically over the week target a wider range of students. Hopefully professors will encourage their students to attend these lectures, or it would be even better if students were drawn to the events themselves!”
Earth Week 2013 will be kick-started with a trip to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday, April 13. The University community will be given the opportunity to observe wildlife animals housed a mere one hour from campus.
On Wednesday, April 17th, The Island President, a documentary film about former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed’s efforts to tackle climate change, will be shown at the Library Multimedia Room. Attendees should come hungry, as food will be provided. On April 19, at 12 p.m. a symposium on Brazil will be presented in the Library Multimedia room.
Students will be able to tie-dye tee shirts, decorate recyclable canvas bags, and get their face painted while live music is played in the Quad for the Earth Day Festival scheduled on Saturday, April 20th. The Festival will include Eco vendors, raffles, petitions, and the Campus Garden. Several information tables, such as bicycle information and tune-ups, will be set up for attendees to broaden their knowledge of environmental awareness.
Environmental movies will be showcased in the Barone Campus Center (BCC) all day on Monday, April 22, this year’s Earth Day, while individuals will be wearing green to show their support. The BCC information desk will provide supplies for students to participate in the campus cleanup from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., demonstrating care for their community.
Students will also be able to write down an environmental question, problem, or solution and receive a baked good at the Cookies for Comments, held at the BCC information desk from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Earth Day will commence with an 8 p.m. lecture given by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson titled This Just In: Latest Discoveries in the Universe at the Quick Center.
“It is important to recognize Earth Day because of the stress the environment is continuing to undergo,” said Fylypovych. “I think quite a few people need help connecting the dots between environmental degradation and its long term effects on our own race not just trees and creatures being blown up by mountain top removal, for example.”
Earth Week events do not end after Earth Day: Dr. Michael J. Werle will present his lecture, Technical and Business Aspects of Green Technology: A Start Up’s Story at the Kelley Center, Tuesday, April 23 from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. The Research and Creative Accomplishments Symposium will take place on Thursday, April 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the BCC atrium.
“Hopefully the festival on April 20 and the films, speakers and activities that week will raise awareness of important environmental and economic challenges facing this generation of students,” stated Dr. Downie. “Sustainability and excellent living can go hand in hand. We have the technology and policy tools. What it comes down to at this point is political will. Young people can show the way.”