The University of Connecticut chapter of Fridays For Future plans to continue taking action on Fridays next semester, according to its newly elected president.
“We have been considering a wide variety of events from rallies and protests to educational sessions to fundraisers to help expand our movements,” Liz D’Andrea, Fridays for Future president and fifth-semester human development and family studies major, said.
The protests began on Sept. 20 as part of the International School Strike for Climate, a movement begun by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. At UConn, students gathered at the Student Union Terrace before marching to Gulley Hall, the building that houses President Thomas Katsouleas’s office.
Following the strike, UConn Fridays For Future announced its intention to hold sit-ins weekly at Thomas Katsouleas’s office until its seven core demands were met.
Now, 10 weeks later, the organization has held strong to that commitment. The club will hold a sit-in in Gulley Hall today, as it has been doing every Friday since Sept. 20.
Despite the fact that their executive board resigned following internal conflict in the middle of the semester, the group has made progress toward its demands; President Katsouleas formed a working group on environmental sustainability and suspended construction of the Supplemental Utility Building.
In addition to the sit-ins, Fridays For Future has been involved in the planning and organization of several other marches and rallies, most notably the March for Solidarity on Tuesday. This rally focused on cooperation between social justice groups on campus and was a collaboration between UConn Fridays For Future, the UConn chapter of NAACP and the UConn Coalition for Collaborative Organizing.
D’Andrea said she got involved in the movement because it is important to remember that climate change is affecting real people right now.
“People in South Asia are being ran out of their hometowns by rising tides and flooding while Californians are being ran out by fires. Indigenous people globally have had their cultures, homeland and economies affected by the climate crisis for years now and the mainstream media has paid little to no attention to it,” D’Andrea said. “Often times in America we talk about climate change as something that is going to happen rather than something that is currently killing thousands of people globally, and I think that narrative has to change.”
Grace McFadden is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.