Youth demand better climate change policy


The band Low & Behold performing on the lawn. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

Trinity Commons was filled with tables from both campus and local organizations educating students on what they can do to take action against climate change during the Earth Day Festival.

“We are trying to engage students in ways of fighting climate change through policy,” said Jared Geiser, executive vice president of A.S. “What we are doing is talking about different policies that A.S. government has done to do with climate change and stuff we are working on right now.”

This year’s A.S. election ballot featured an advisory measure about implementing climate change education into all fields of study, a measure which 85% of students voted yes on.

“I really believe youth can energize and mobilize,” said Maggie Scarpa, education and outreach coordinator of A.S. “There have been so many amazing people who have been doing it for so long, but really to energize it, you need the youth.”

Geiser said one of the goals they are working toward is a declaration of climate emergency for the Chico State campus.

Not only were Chico State organizations at Earth Day Festival but national organizations as well.

The Sunrise Movement, a national organization focused on stopping climate change, was at Trinity Lawn speaking about ways in which Butte County can improve. The organization was drawn to Chico after seeing the devastating effects of the Camp Fire.

Sofia Lepore from the Sunrise Movement informed students about the Green New Deal being proposed to Butte County. The Sunrise Movement will be at the El Rey Theatre Saturday afternoon with community leaders discussing the impact the Green New Deal may have on Butte County. Photo credit: Trenton Taylor

“The Sunrise tour stop will be an all-encompassing event on how to empower our youth and empower our community in order to talk about how we can start to create a Green New Deal for Butte County,” said Sofia Lepore, president of the Sunrise Club.

All students can get a free ticket to the Saturday event by going onto their website and entering the promo code “STUDENT”.

The festival also featured music with the band Low & Behold playing on the lawn.

Mark Stemen, a geography professor at Chico State, came supporting the event.

“I think this is just another manifestation of youth deciding that they’re no longer going to wait for anybody else,” he said.

Trenton Taylor and Julian Mendoza can be reached at @T_Taylor34 and @JulianMTheOrion on Twitter or [email protected]