By Katie Krahulik and Maria Zaldivar
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR / STAFF WRITER
In honor of Earth Day, the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) hosted Earth Fest to promote conservation as well as encourage students to appreciate and take care of the planet. Several clubs gathered in front of Calkins Hall on Wednesday during common hour to show their support for greener initiatives.
Martin Melkonian, a professor of economics, helped coordinate the event as the faculty advisor of Peace Action Matters and a board member of the CCE.
“Our climate footprint is much too great! We face grave dangers and must do everything within our power to reduce carbon emissions,” Melkonian said in an email. “The annual CCE event with participation of the Peace Fellows Program and PeaceActionMatters@Hofstra is our attempt to share what we know about global climate change and to encourage the Hofstra community to engage in an activist response.”
With different activities and performances such as guided meditation, spoken word and musical performances, students were given a well-rounded educational experience on the value of our planet and environmental protection. A few of the event participants included Student Advocates of Safer Sex, Peace Action Matters, Buddhism Club, Rock Climbing Club, Hofstra Student Organization for Animal Rights and Hofstra International (H*INT).
Andy Chang, a junior radio, television and film major, is the president of (H*INT), a group that participates in Earth Day celebrations every year. This year, they talked about the natural wonders of the world with students, hoping to convince them of the planet’s benefits.
“… we think that it’s important for the Hofstra community to be aware of issues around the world and, to tie it in with Earth Fest, we feel that by asking people about natural wonders around the world is important,” Chang said. “I think it’s important because by knowing what goes on in the world is a way to prepare us before we go into the real world.”
Clubs set up tables displaying different topics surrounding the environment. Many groups sold food and accepted donations to give to organizations around Long Island. Others were promoting the Science March that took place Saturday in New York City and some even offered organic and vegan snacks to passersby.
With activities, music, food, meditation and more, Earth Fest offered vast opportunities for students to voice their passion for the planet.
“We led a meditation as the opening for student performances; it was a guided meditation about experiencing gratefulness for the earth. Just about everyone at the Earth Day Fest participated which allowed for a truly wonderful experience,” said Buddhism Club President Gray Kennedy, a senior community health major.
“Buddhism Club also tabled and had a bracelet making station where we had cut old shirts into strips so that they could be braided and worn,” Kennedy said. “I got to personally teach a few people how to braid which was fun. But besides all the fun, our club loves Earth Day because of our relationship with the environment. In Buddhism, we are as much a part of the earth as the earth is part of us.”