New Hampshire-based group NextGen Climate and the UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) held their kickoff meeting for UNH students this past Tuesday evening in the MUB to begin raising awareness for causes they support. The collaboration between NextGen and SEAC has been strong in the past and the attendance of students at the meeting is evidence of their ongoing success. NextGen and SEAC are attempting to push the importance of voting in this upcoming election, especially in regard to issues concerning climate change and backing candidates who have valid stances on environmental awareness.
“As young adults, getting out to vote is our final push,” said freshman outdoor education major Abigail Colby, a Durham native. “Even though this election isn’t what we hoped for, it is still important, there are real progressive issues that need to be taken seriously.”
The overall position of NextGen regarding the upcoming presidential election is very anti-Trump. When NextGen intern and sophomore wildlife conservation major Coburn Blunt gave a lively and animated speech, his mere mention of Trump was met with an audible chorus of “boos” from the crowd. Besides the anti-Trump persona, Blunt’s message was clear: this election needs to be the biggest millennial movement of the era.
In the midst of Blunt’s speech, many students had a chance to give their views and opinions on the matter.
“Donald Trump sucks,” freshman biology major Emily Lyford said. Her comment was received with enthusiastic nods of agreement by most of the attendants.
“Trump would be a disaster for our climate,” said Griffin Sinclair-Wingate, a fellow for NextGen. “Trump thinks climate change is a hoax, and what we need is to foster a culture of climate justice organization. Trump poses a threat to all the work we [NextGen] have done.”
Once the SEAC and NextGen representatives gave their speeches, a couple activities ensued. Students collaborated with one another to make posters to help promote awareness and represent their positions on climate change. The creation of hemp bracelets was also a popular activity, as it is fitting to the overall theme of this movement. Hemp is widely known to be an eco-friendly product that has a wide range of uses, yet it has not been widely implemented for use in mainstream society.
With all the controversy revolving around the candidates in this year’s presidential election, NextGen and SEAC advocate the importance to research the candidates’ positions on climate change. It can be said that voting in this election might be detrimental to the future of the environment, and everyone should be encouraged to vote.