Cal Poly Prepares for Earth Day

By Justin Page Wood

Although Cal Poly Pomona is already one of the more
environmentally conscientious universities in California,
regenerative studies students find it essential to further progress
this trend by hosting the annual Earth Day event at Cal Poly’s
Center for Regenerative Studies.

“Sustainability and environmental awareness is no longer a niche
market,” said Zora Tucker, regenerative studies graduate and head
planning coordinator for Cal Poly’s Earth Day. “No one is immune to
environmental degradation, and Earth Day is a day to remind us of
our undeniable need to take care of Earth.”

For this, regenerative studies students, the Green Team – a Cal
Poly environmental student organization, and several other campus
organizations are helping to put together a three-day event for
environmental awareness starting Thursday during University
Hour.

“Students need to start thinking more about environmental
issues,” said Allison Roth, biology graduate student and Earth Day
planner. “Not only will Earth Day be fun and entertaining, this
event is just one way to encourage students to start taking
initiative on their own.”

The first Earth Day began in 1970 on April 22 when former
Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson, promoted a nation-wide teach-in
to respond to the detrimental widespread effects of environmental
mistreatment.

An estimated 20 million people were nationally involved with the
first Earth Day. Since then, the event has continued and grown
every year, expanding to several other countries.

In February, the university’s involvement vastly progressed
after President Ortiz signed the “President’s Climate Commitment” –
an American college and university leader pledge to push schools
toward environmentally sensitive practices in buildings,
transportation and energy use. President Ortiz sits on the
organization’s Leadership Circle.

Signing on to this commitment means making changes to Cal Poly’s
existing and in-plan buildings and infrastructure, and some
students, such as Zora Tucker, have already been invited to be a
part of research and planning to carry out the commitment.

Although many students and Southern California citizens continue
to doubt the need for reaction to contemporary environmental
issues, regenerative studies students and campus organization
leaders are already fully convinced.

“The evidence of the human cause for our environmental plight is
pretty conclusive,” said Matty West, a regenerative studies
graduate student and green-building workshop leader for Earth Day.
“Personally, I don’t want the history books to portray the current
generations as the ones who blew it for all of those yet to
come.”

Earth Day is one attempt to change the current generations’
behavior toward environmentalism.

“I would try to convince students not just to participate in
Earth Day, but to try to think critically about how ecology relates
to our common legacy and our children’s common future,” said
Tucker.

Cal Poly Pomona’s Earth Day will occur in three segments.

Thursday will be a promotional day outside the Old Horse Stables
during University Hour. There will be a food justice panel by guest
speakers, as well as a drum circle and art exhibit by architecture
students, and promotion of campus-grown food from the Kellogg Ranch
Farm Store and student-run Pomona Organics.

Thursday at 5 p.m. there will be a dance performance as well as
a viewing of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” at the BSC.

Friday, between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., will be the main event, which
will include music, food, dancing, demonstrations on sustainable
systems, and representations from numerous campus organizations
held at the Center for Regenerative Studies.

On Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., several workshops will be held
which will teach practices on biodiesel, alternative green
building, solar energy, organic gardening, papermaking and simple
engineering.

“One of our big goals is to get Cal Poly students to come check
out the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies,” said Tucker. “It is
an amazing resource, and it’s beautiful, but so many students don’t
even know it exists.”

Justin Page Wood can be reached by e-mail at
news@thepolypost.com or by phone at (909) 869-3747.

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