Student leads collaborative Earth Day event
By Shaheryar Khan
UHD student Chris Kemp led a collaborate Earth Day celebration in the Sciences and Technology Building to teach UHD and community members about sustainability.
Diverse organizations and faculty from UHD and across the city showed their support by donating their time to the event.
“My time working as a student intern in the CUAS has made me hyper conscious of how important the framework of sustainability is; as well as how deeply intertwined sustainability and philosophy (my major) are,” Kemp said. “I wanted to present the concept of sustainability to UHD, and the community we serve, by making it accessible and in a cheerful environment.”
Kemp acknowledged the CUAS, the Department of Arts and Communications, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as “key players” in sponsoring the event.
“Activism in general can oftentimes be draining because of the stakes that activist are aware of,” Kemp said. “It was important to me that we provide tools for positive action beyond Earth Day in an upbeat environment.”
The organizations present at the event were the Animal Rescue Club, Garden and Compost Club, Bike Club, Active Minds, Student Supply Chain Management, and the Food Market.
Along with these groups, UHD library set up a pop-up library where students were greeted with a specially-curated-list of books that were related to Earth Day.
These organizations advocated for sustainable initiatives and helped encourage an overall healthier lifestyle for students to adopt.
For example, the Garden and Compost Gators members Diana Ambrosio, Indira Zaldivar, and Nichole Dukett tabled to invite Gators to grow food crops at the two gardens on campus. They also showed off student-led compost projects on campus.
The Dateline’s Assistant Editor Edward Saenz learned a lot from the booths at the event.
“Prior to the event I assumed sustainability was limited to gardening,” Saenz said. “The students at the Active Minds booth showed me how being physically and mentally healthy play a big part in wanting to protect the earth, and I learned what companies and projects like METRO and Houston Parks Board are doing to help the earth. I also learned that METRO will be free over the summer.”
Day one of the event consisted of a panel led by faculty staff and industry professionals who are experts in sustainability. The panelists included CUAS Director Lisa Morano, Social Impact Design Professor Natacha Poggio, Business Law Assistant Professor Dietrich Von Biedenfeld, compost expert Luis Chamorro, and a METRO representative.
Alongside the main Earth Day event, the eSports Center ran a Super Smash Bro. Ultimate tournament. The event took place over two days, with the second day taking place in the Science and Technology Building’s Fondren Commons room. The event was won by Chidozie Oguejiofor. For his victory, he received a new Smash Bros. Controller and a Nintendo gift card. Stephen Landry placed second and won a gaming headset and Nintendo gift card.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and is now a global phenomenon coordinated by over a billion people across 193 countries, according to EarthDay.org.
The official theme for this year’s Earth Day was “Invest in Our Planet.”
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