Despite rainy weather, hundreds of Utah State University students, faculty and staff gathered on the Quad on Friday morning to participate in the Global Climate Strike.
The event was part of a worldwide movement dedicated to ending the use of fossil fuels and drawing attention to what many consider an ongoing climate crisis. Thousands of people, many of them students, marched in cities around the world to participate.
Posters placed around campus encouraged students to “strike” by wearing all black and leaving their classrooms in protest to come to the Quad.
“I was in a class and a lot of the students in that class wanted to attend, and so the professor actually supported coming out here,” said Monica Eby, a student at USU. “I’m super stoked we came out here.”
Around 200 participants stood in the pouring rain and listened to live music and speeches. They signed petitions and made protest signs from recycled cardboard in preparation for their march to the Historic Cache County Courthouse, which began at 3 p.m.
“I think the time for action is now,” said Chase Pulsipher, a USU student. “I think it’s incredibly pressing and important.”
The on-campus portion of the event was planned by Maria Catalano, co-president of Utah State’s Student Organization for Society and Natural Resources, and Rachel Chamberlain, the Natural Resources senator for the USU Student Association.
“I think it went better than we were hoping for,” Chamberlain said.
“Especially with the weather and people ripping down signs,” Catalano added.
Once at the courthouse, strikers listened to speeches from local activists and politicians who encouraged Logan residents to call their local representatives, advocate for the switch to renewable fuel sources and vote as often as possible.
The strikers then took to Main Street and showed their signs to passing cars. Many drivers honked their horns and waved in support as they passed by, but others shouted expletives and made offensive gestures. Even with the heckling, the strikers stood their ground until they disbanded around 5 p.m.
“Even if you’re not going to a giant march with thousands of people, just organizing a few to come and speak, it’s really important. You have to take direct action,” said Hunter Landis, a USU student.
Catalano and Chamberlain hope to start a weekly movement, where every Friday they talk to local officials, strike and spread their eco-friendly message within schools and to the general public.