USU and BYU rivalry unite for sustainability

Utah State University Sustainability Club and Student Organization For Society and Natural Resources (SOSNR) came together with Brigham Young University to promote climate change awareness. The unity started with BYU and the University of Utah rivalry game.

Utah and BYU mixed their school colors making purple the color that represents the campaign.

The school’s colors also represent two dominant political parties.

“Climate change is a political issue that we need to come together on. We all have a climate that is over us. We should be able to find some consensus and something that affects everyone,” said Zackary Webb, a sustainability advocate.  

When presented the opportunity to promote the cause, USU students quickly got involved.

Nick Huey, co-founder of the climate campaign, said “SOSNR reached out [when] we were planning on bringing other schools on board and they have been very very proactive. We brainstormed a few ideas but, we didn’t have to do anything beyond that. They picked it up and started doing chalk art and decorating a walkway. They’ve been awesome.”

During the USU vs BYU game, SOSNR and sustainability club members offered purple face paint and recycling bags to everyone tailgating. They handed out papers with the slogan,”BYU and USU unite on climate change.”

“Climate change is a big deal [and we] need to face it together. It shows that enemies in a sense can come together,” said Franklin De Jong, SOSNR president.  

Students put up purple ribbons on the north side of the quad and chalk art in front of the hand statue on the Taggart Student Center patio to represent more universities getting involved.

“The faster we can grow this thing, the faster we can see change happen,” Huey said.  

According to the United States Senate website, both of Utah’s Republican senators, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, voted against an amendment “expressing the sense of Congress regarding climate change,” or declaring climate change as an issue.

“Students are aware of the problem and we want others to realize it. We need to make sure our state represents us and sees that climate change is a real problem,” Webb said.

Webb added fellow sustainability advocates are looking for ways they can develop in their lives and help other people.

Students wanting to get more involved in promoting the issue of climate change can sign a petition at  www.theclimatecampaign.com/dosomething. According to their website, the petition is led by students, and its goal is persuading government officials to acknowledge climate change.

“One thing we can keep in mind is how climate change is going to affect our futures and how can we find a job that will help us deal with what climate change and how it will impact our futures,” Webb said.

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