By Theodore Elmore, Transcript Correspondent
Nearly 300 people from the Ohio 5 schools are coming together for the first time at Ohio Wesleyan’s rival school Denison University to fight climate change together.
The Climate Change Coalition started off as a senior project for environmental science major Liam McElroy at Denison and quickly grew from there. The goal of the group was to bring together the Ohio five schools (Ohio Wesleyan, Denison, Kenyon, Wooster and Oberlin) to collaborate on different ideas in order to improve the environment on and off campuses.
“My strength is getting people together who can help get to the bottom of things so we can each play off of our own strengths”, Said McElroy.
McElroy’s goal was to bring together as many people as possible and brainstorm ideas on how they have been able to make their school greener. Groups or speakers representing each school will give a short presentation during the conference, with a goal of sharing how they continue to make their school more environmentally friendly.
McElroy got in contact with Eva Blockstein, a sophomore at OWU and together they worked on getting a group of students to the conference on April 1. Blockstein, who is working as a lone wolf to present, is excited to share about OWU’s strengths which include; Tree House, Environment and Wildlife club, plans for green week, the Sustainability Task Force and other events. “One problem I’ve seen at OWU is students not getting involved” said Blockstein who hopes to find ideas from other schools on how OWU can find more students to get involved in more green projects on campus.
Along with the schools going to the event McElroy is bringing in two guest speakers; the Yes Men an environmental activist group and Madonna Thunderhawk a member of the Native American Sioux tribe and organizer of the tribe at Standing Rock. Thunderhawk has a connection with a professor at Denison University and will be coming back for her second time to the campus on Saturday for the event. Denison funded the majority of the money for the project, however each school had to put up a small entrance fee to help pay for it. From OWU, the zoology department donated $50 while WCSA funded another $637.
While McElroy is a senior, his goals for this conference expand to long after he is gone. “The success of this organization is going to be measured next year not this year”, Said McElroy whose dream is that this organization continues to meet and collaborate every year and hopefully grow bigger in time.