Marching Toward Change
Proximity to both the state’s and nation’s capitals gives Goucher students a chance to participate in the democratic process in all sorts of important, hands-on ways.
Eric Sargent ’15 was one of about 45 Goucher students who joined a reported 40,000 at the National Mall on Sunday, February 17, for the Forward on Climate Rally. Sargent, an environmental studies major and member of the Goucher Energy Action Revolution (GEAR), said the rally delivered a crucial message to the White House. “We are living in a really important time when we can’t afford to not take action about these environmental and social issues,” he said.
Fellow climate rally participant Delaney Green ’14, a peace studies major and Africana studies minor, agrees. She said President Obama’s inaugural speech was an invitation to activists to communicate the importance of their beliefs. “I wanted to be there to demonstrate that I was listening to his words and show that I hold him accountable for the next step,” she said.
After becoming interested in activism his first year at Goucher, Sargent has been involved with petition signings, teach-ins, and various other rallies. Even though experienced, he said he still found the climate event to be inspiring. “Along with this being one of the largest climate rallies, I think this event made history because of all of these environmental groups coming together in the same place,” he said.
Though an active participant in Goucher’s environmentally focused groups, Green said she thinks small changes won’t really change the climate situation. “At this point, we should all be recycling, using less water, driving less, eating less meat, switching to renewable electricity sources, using less energy, etc.,” she said. She believes large-scale events are important because they draw more attention to the bigger picture, such as the role of education and economy in sustainability efforts, and they encourage more people to insist on meaningful and lasting change. “You inspire others working for the same cause, as they inspire you,” she said.