All photos credited Raul Alonzo Jr./ISLAND WAVES- Student protesters chant as they march from the University Center after making their way through the rotunda as part of the Climate Strike action held on Friday, Sept. 27.
All photos credited Raul Alonzo Jr./ISLAND WAVES- Student protesters chant as they march from the University Center after making their way through the rotunda as part of the Climate Strike action held on Friday, Sept. 27.

Global Climate Strike action comes to TAMU-CC campus

October 2, 2019

Chanting “No more coal, no more oil,” a little over a dozen participants marched throughout campus Friday, Sept. 27, as part of the Global Climate Strike week-long call for action.

Organized by the Islander Feminists and Islander Green Team, the action was inspired by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg and aimed to inspire students to do their part in calling for solutions to climate change.

For Marcelina Esquivel, sophomore biology major and one of the event organizers, it is through raising a collective voice that students can bring about those solutions.

Raul Alonzo Jr.
A handmade sign boasting a play on president Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is held up during the action.

“We’re hoping to convey that there is power in our voice,” Esquivel said. “That whatever we can do, if we put our minds together, we can make a real difference. No matter how small that you think a difference makes, it makes a huge difference when it all adds up.”

The event began on the East Lawn as protesters gathered under the hot noontime sun. After others showed up, the group began marching through the Breezeway before circling back to the University Center. They then proceeded through the rotunda, quietly moving through as a band performance was underway, but with their signs and banners raised to ensure their point came across.

The group also made their way up to the office of university President Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, but she was not in at the time of their visit. Though they missed her when the group dropped in, sophomore environmental science major Madison Meagher hopes actions like these will prompt administration to listen to students who raise their concerns regarding issues like climate change.

Raul Alonzo Jr.
Student protesters march through the campus as part of the Climate Strike action. Organized by the Islander Feminists and Islander Green Team, the action was part of the Global Climate Strike that ran from Sept. 20-27.

“I feel like they should promote student’s ideas, and promote something like a strike like this, and help better the campus,” Meagher said. “Make it more green. Because climate change is real, climate change is happening, and I believe that there should be a change. And if it has to start out with one campus, I think it should be TAMU-CC.”

According to the Global Climate Strike website, over 7.6 million people took part in over 6,000 actions across the globe during the Sept. 20-27 event, making it the largest climate action in history. The TAMU-CC action followed one in the city a week earlier on the first day of the global event, organized by local environmental groups that called attention to instances of industrial encroachment in the area, such as the recent groundbreaking for the construction of a new ExxonMobil plastics plant in Portland.

The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes the world’s oceans are already showing signs of duress that could continue to grow unless greenhouse gas emissions are significantly curbed. These signs include declining fish populations, further depletion of oxygen in the ocean, and hotter ocean temperatures that could continue to help produce storms like 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, according to the New York Times.

For Esquivel, the changes needed to address climate change won’t be found just in the individual actions’ students can take, but also through contributing to the larger movement.

“We think that it’s not just individual actions, whether it’s using less plastic or other things created by the oil industry,” Esquivel said, “but also putting your information and your story out there. Just getting it known to everyone that you care about this movement.”

Raul Alonzo Jr.
Student protesters make their way from the University Center towards the Breezeway during the Climate Strike action on TAMU-CC campus.

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