Fort Collins protesters come out in support of sustainability

Austria Cohn

Climate crisis protestors march past the Colorado State University Lory Student Center chanting “Unionize CSU.” And shouting a call and response of “What do we want? Climate Justice. When do we want it? Now.” Oct. 8. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)
Climate crisis protestors march past the Colorado State University Lory Student Center chanting “Unionize CSU,” and shouting a call and response of “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now” Oct. 8. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)

Various organizations and community members came together for the climate strike at Colorado State University’s campus on Friday night. The strike started outside of Moby Arena, went through the Homecoming activities on The Plaza and ended in front of the CSU Administration Building on The Oval. 

Ehret Nottingham, a protester and CSU student studying mechanical engineering, said it’s important to talk about the Land Acknowledgement at CSU and make steps toward reparations for Indigenous communities, including the Hughes Land Back movement. 

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If we can ensure through transparency that our dollars match up with those values, that’s how you build meaningful culture on a campus like this- Christian Dykson, President of ASCSU

“It’s about doing the right thing and the radical thing,” Nottingham said. “Because the fact is that Joyce (McConnell) ignores us every single year. We go inside of these buildings to learn … how to adapt to a changing climate, yet we don’t address that. We don’t actually act on that when we’re here at our own university.” 

Another protester, Hunter Linville, said issues surrounding things like climate change and animal rights are intersectional and must be dealt with systemically.

“Until we can begin to address our institutions and the very economic system that we are all being subjected to against our will, you’re not going to get any change,” Linville said.

Christian Dykson, Associated Students of CSU president, spoke at The Oval about solutions for sustainability and environmental practices on the CSU campus.

“If we can ensure through transparency that our dollars match up with those values, that’s how you build meaningful culture on a campus like this,” Dykson said. 

Dykson also spoke about Kentucky bluegrass, a situationally invasive species used across CSU’s campus. Dykson said his solution to using this grass is to bring aesthetic beauty by implementing native grasses across the Front Range. According to Dykson, ASCSU just applied for a $10,000 grant for the sustainability fund. 

“I get we’re green and gold, but it’s not supposed to be green,” Dykson said. “The American backyard is a social construct that is something we’ve built up and normalized — we have to change that.” 

The main organizations that helped put the protest together were Food Not Bombs and Clothe the People. These two organizations are paired to provide basic supplies and food to people who are financially struggling. 

At The Oval, Clothe the People set up a table to hand out food to anyone in need. Representative Esme Holden helped organize the climate strike. 

“The strategy is that we go to areas where there is a collective amount of people of middle- and lower-income class, and then we provide mutual aid to them,” Holden said. “We get an immense amount of clothing coming in and out, and then we provide a bunch of that to the homeless.” 

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For more information on how to get involved with Food Not Bombs and Clothe the People, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram. 

Austria Cohn can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @AustriaCohn.