Leading up to Sunday, September 21st 2014, New York City prepared for a march expected to draw up o 100,000 people. On that day, some estimates report over 400,000 participants who were all demanding action on climate change. We are proud to report that we had many representatives from St. Olaf and Carleton (and a Northfield family!) who bussed all the way to New York together to be a part of The People’s Climate March. Mari Hougen-Eitzman, a sophomore at St. Olaf, said “for me, it is easy to become burned out upon viewing the vast amount of environmental injustices that exist. Attending this march was incredibly rejuvenating. Being surrounded by the energy of over 400,000 people who all care about the planet was inspiring and gave me hope! Along with the other students who attended the march, I am excited to bring the momentum back to campus .”
The energy in New York City was crazy. It was emanating from a movement of people stretching over four miles long, which was a powerful statement in support of much-needed climate action. This march and the world-wide actions supporting it were intentionally timed right before the UN Climate Summit which started in NYC on September 23rd. So, it is not just the march itself that is important, but what we make of it. Sophomore Claire Bransky highlights the importance of the post-march by saying “my favorite memory of the trip was the energy and excitement on the bus as we came into Northfield. We had split into groups to discuss environmental action we want to do on campus, and the new friendships between Carls and Oles made it feel like the our options had no limits. I am thrilled that we have this new connection and excited to see what comes from future collaboration between the two campuses.” Mari seemed to agree, saying “this march was a great way to bridge the gap between St. Olaf and Carleton students. The fact that St. Olaf and Carleton are so close to each other, but have little collaboration seems silly to me. I think having both Oles and Carls on the bus was a good way to create new friendships and relationships between the students, which will lead to more collaboration and the sharing of resources between the two schools in the future. However, it does not just have to be between the students who went on the march; it can extend to all students!” So, come to Viking Theater on Thursday at 8:00 to hear how YOU can help the movement continue!