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Wantoe studies in the United States of America and shares with us his story about organising a walk out protest around climate change.

Scientists have warned that we have eleven years to mitigate disastrous climate breakdown. We are demeaning our planet and contaminating our air. In not addressing the climate emergency, the lives of our younger and future generations are threatened by indecision and inaction of our older generation. Therefore, the health and hopes of our current and future generations become less promising. 

As students and millennials and as young citizens who will inherit the world, we are frightened to see what the growing climate crisis means for us. We are aware that the current global crisis involves extreme droughts, floods and storms, which are progressing in our rapidly overheating world. We are inspired by the youth and students that are striking for climate through education worldwide, including prominent universities in the United States. Given these reasons, we proposed resolutions to rally actions and solidarity for our planet alongside tens of thousands of students who participated in the September 20th Global Climate Strike in the United States and across the world.

We believe our silence is costing immense inaction that intensifies growing climate crisis. It is estimated that in 2050, over 143 million people will be displaced by a climate catastrophe. Currently, rapid industrial development combined with inadequate regulation is contributing to air contamination, deforestation and water pollution. The impact of environmental degradation is leading to an increase in natural disasters while triggering negative health outcomes for current and future generations. Our ability to thrive as students is being destabilised by our lack of actions.

As the first Millennium Fellowship Program at The College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV), our goal as students and Campus Directors is to inspire the CMSV to be an educational institution of social responsibility that cultivates students to be professional societal leaders in their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, both locally and globally. This Resolution and Walkout is the first of many proposals that will help us at CMSV to fulfil the mission of the United Nations (UN) Academic Impact. It is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the UN in supporting and contributing to the recognition of their goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution. 

The Millennium Campus Fellowship sees the climate crisis as critical. It is imperative that we promote awareness, appropriate attitudes, and actions to address the climate crisis. Moreover, as a college in the Catholic tradition founded by the Sisters of Charity of New York, we are responding to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for our common home, planet Earth and it’s peoples, especially those who are most impacted by the effects of climate change. Pope Francis has called the Laudato Si’ Generation, the youth of this world, to speak up and call the older generation to action. 

On September 20th, we joined many movements and groups, especially faith-based ones which the Sisters of Charity of New York work closely with: Global Catholic Climate Movement, GreenFaith, Metro New York Catholic Climate Movement, and ROAR (Religious Organisations Along the River), to support the younger generation, act on the Climate Strikes, and work to address the climate crisis.

Underscoring the core principle of our actions, we are proud to launch and present this Resolution that classifies explicit actions we can take at the CMSV to reduce the devastating effects of the climate crisis and rally Faculties, Students and Staffs to vow to campaigning for sensitive climate actions.

As a Millennium Student body we recommend:

  • Students should properly dispose of waste, and we advocate for improved waste management setup on campus.
  • Work with the Hudson Height and Mags Kitchen staff members to find a way around single-use plastic products and packets in order to decrease the buildup of waste.
  • We encourage professors to incorporate climate awareness in courses, organise meetings and gather research to ignite student’s awareness and actions.
  • We express dissatisfaction to the eco- hostile harms caused by multinational factories, and call for direct measures from the government and the United Nations to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  Additionally, we encourage local food consumption and intensify calls to support sustainable production, decreasing industrialisation and mechanisation of food production.
  • We express solidarity for the Bahamas after the devastating Hurricane Dorian that led 70,000 people to be displaced. We see the need for increasing Humanitarian support as well as policies that facilitate their migration and integration in host countries.
  • Support more student based clubs based around environmental and sustainable issues.
  • Call for an adoption of an annual planting of 50  trees at the College of Mount Saint Vincent as a medium  to reverse the current trends of rising greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and increasing  forest destruction.
  • We express solidarity with the Amazon forest and call for immediate actions and policies to regulate current burning thereby mitigating its occurrence.

Signed:

Wantooe Teah Wantoe

Student Government Association

To read the full speech, click here.

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