This Friday, people across the globe will be stepping out of their commitments to protest the lack of action by governments to combat climate change in a movement aptly titled Fridays for Future. As 16-year-old Greta Thunberg started the event it seems only fitting that a group of University of Connecticut students would kick start their own chapter of the movement.
Yes, it is projected that hundreds of UConn students will be leaving their classes on Friday with specific goals for the university administration to consider. As much as UConn’s more bookish students may be resistant to leaving class for, effectively, a strike, it is important for us all to wield our power when the time comes.
UConn has a hard time listening to undergraduate students as it is. In their defense, we don’t often have a very unified voice speaking up for us. Of course, USG exists, but they don’t have teeth other than good will between them and the administration. Graduate students, however, have a union (at least for teaching and grading assistants). This has allowed them to argue for the things important to them, like parking and benefits.
Photos courtesy of @naacpuconn Instagram.
An act like the Fridays for Future movement is the closest we can get to wielding that same power. We don’t bring in money for the university in the same way that graduate students do, but our opinions matter. If we want to enact change at the university, this is the way to do it. A coordinated departure from class — especially if it gets to the point where this recurs — is such a powerful way to leave a message for the university.
If you are even slightly concerned about the fact that our planet is on the brink of death, you should strike this Friday. We must use our voices to amplify the change we know in our hearts. This is not an issue only of climate change; it is an issue of student advocacy. If Thunberg can make herself known worldwide at age 16, we can at the very least make ourselves heard on UConn’s campus. Striking for the preservation of our fragile world may not be the only issue we need to let UConn know we care about, but it is certainly among them.
Thumbnail Image Courtesy of Future for Fridays UConn