The Midwest Student Coalition for Climate Action began with an idea.
This idea was formed by senior environmental studies major Liam McIlroy. This idea came from his inner drive to contribute to the activism world in a way that satisfied himself longer than a phone call to a senator or a march. “I knew I wanted to be an activist and I had always wanted to know who felt the same way on campus,” said McIlroy.
He ran with this idea of creating a student activist group on campus and began sending out emails to several students in different departments that he felt might have the biggest interest and commitment to the group. After sending out the initial email he held a presentation explaining his ideas of a student run activism organization that could grow each year to include more colleges to all that were interested after his email.
From those that showed interest by going to the presentation he took the time to evaluate everyone’s interest and commitment and picked a group of ten individuals that he felt would work their hardest to make this more than an idea.
The group has been working since the fall to build connections with student representatives from Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan, Wooster, and Oberlin to get students from those schools involved.
Founding member Charlotte King, a senior environmental studies and biology major who is a strong advocate for environmental conservation, enjoys her time meeting and discussing a wide range of topics. “We generally talk about logistics of the conference, marketing strategies and materials, assign tasks and duties to each member, and discuss specifics of the meeting and Homestead gathering afterword. After the conference, we will continue to meet to talk about the importance of getting people to take pro-environmental action on campus,” said King.
The group of student activists has been working all year to organize the 2017 MWSCCA Climate Conference, which is being held here at Denison on April 1st from 10a.m -4p.m. The group hopes to have upward numbers of 250-300 students from all five schools and community members to attend the event. The conference will feature two main speakers, individual school speakers and group discussions.
“Madonna Thunder Hawk, a standing rock elder, and the Yes Men, who are media activists that focus on social and political issues, are coming as keynote speakers. Also, each school in the Ohio 5 are presenting their sustainability initiatives. We will also offer a lunch, and round-table discussions,” said King.
The point of the conference is to facilitate conversations with students to get a better understanding of what is going on in the world and ways that we can actually make a difference.
Founding member Meg Sutter, a senior communication major and English minor, elaborated on the event being for all students: “When I initially started in the group I was unsure of how I could help because I’m not an environmental studies major, but I was used for the communication marketing side, doing promotional tasks and making the conference well known to everyone. It really opened my eyes to see that everyone can help and being different can benefit. The whole point is for student activism and getting people talking about what’s going on about the environment and even social justice issues!”
Anyone can sign up for the event by going to mwscca.wordpress.com and filling out their form. Sign-up ends on Wednesday, but they will also allow the-day-of sign ups. The event only costs ten dollars and that goes to your food and refreshments for the day. “We can’t wait any longer to protect our natural resources and start living sustainably!”