The University of Connecticut’s chapter of Fridays for Future, an environmental activist group, held its third sit-in Friday afternoon in the conference room in Albert Gurdon Gulley Hall, the building which houses President Thomas Katsouleas’ office.
Roughly 12-20 students were present at any given time and members of the organization sat mostly in silence as they simply did work, read or talked among each other in civil disobedience to what they characterize as inaction from the university in addressing the climate crisis.
Liz D’Andrea, a fifth-semester human development and family studies major, referenced how the group’s demands are pretty easy to understand and have been made clear.
“Basically, we want the school to be more transparent about the climate emergency, we want the school to allow students to be a bigger portion in decision making power structures,” D’Andrea stated. “That’s things like the Board of Trustees and having more diversity in environmental conservatism spaces.”
D’Andrea continued by saying how she doesn’t know how long the group as a whole is willing to do the sit-ins, but reinforced how individuals are determined to stay motivated and fight for the long run.
“I’m ready to be here until I leave UConn,” D’Andrea said. “It’s my duty as a human being to help my fellow man.”
Katsouleas sent an email out to the UConn community recently that addressed the concerns Fridays for Future initially brought up in their organized walk out on Friday, Sept. 20, but members of the organization found it vague and unresponsive to the real issues they want to be addressed.
Tori Zane, seventh-semester economics and American studies double major, mentioned how the administration will, eventually, have to respond to their demands if the sit-ins continue: Even if their response is reluctant and unenthused.
“I don’t think they seem very eager to make large systemic changes to the school, but they will eventually have to listen if this persists for long enough.” Zane said. She continued by stating that the ideal response to these sit-ins would be “halting production of the natural gas plant that they’re building in Connecticut.”
Sean Donovan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org