By Mark Kobzik
As climate change remains a prominent issue, the student environmental action coalition seeks to bring attention to the cause with a four-day Earthfest. The Earthfest began on April 22, which is an international holiday that celebrates the earth and environmentalism.
Earthfest was a collaboration between SEAC and the Diversity Support Coalition (DSC). The two organizations used this time not only to spread the word about environmentalism, but also about issues regarding diversity. The event started at 12 p.m. across from Thompson Hall. There were games, singing, arts and crafts, a group clean up, a screening of the movie “Chasing Ice” and much more.
“Earthfest is a four-day celebration of the environment with music, games, and trying to get everyone to be aware of the problems ailing our Earth,” Christine Bunyon, student president of Act for Arctic, a subgroup of SEAC, said. “We’ve started a photo petition to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic. We have Trash 2 Treasure. We have a divestment petition to get UNH to stop investing in fossil fuels.”
Act for Arctic just started this year. There are currently five members involved. Bunyon hopes that with University Day next fall they get more people to join.
On Saturday, there was a cookout from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Although the DSC is not part of Earthfest in an environmental aspect, groups like Alliance were there to get the word out about acceptance of transgender and other members of the LGBTQ+ community. In focus was the issue of gender neutral bathrooms.
“We are focusing on pronouns and their relation to gender,” Felicia Nadel, the financial director of Alliance and freshman women’s studies major said. “We are trying to make it a safer environment where people’s pronouns are just not assumed because it’s really hurtful to get misgendered . . . This is a problem at UNH. It’s a problem everywhere. I think there needs to be a lot of awareness raised. Gender neutral bathrooms are an important topic because there are a lot of people who don’t identify with the two gendered bathrooms. It makes our campus safer and more tolerant when we have those bathrooms.”
The main event of the week, Solarfest, took place on Sunday. The entire event was powered by solar power alone. It featured six bands plus four other performances. There was art, dancing, shopping and overall awareness for environmentalism.
SEAC hosts Earthfest with intent to bring climate change awareness to the UNH campus
By Mark Kobzik