Student spawns green activism on campus

By Cal Colgan |
Photo by Paige Denkin

Flagler junior Victoria Priester plans to fight for environmental justice by starting a Greenpeace chapter at the College.

“I’m incredibly passionate about the environment and conservation, and I feel that there’s not enough activism on campus,” said Priester, 21.

If approved, the club will focus on raising student awareness about local environmental issues. Priester said Flagler Greenpeace would help to pressure government officials to work towards eco-friendly goals.

“I want to get a letter-writing campaign to our local, state and national representatives,” she said.

Priester also wants Greenpeace to build awareness about global environmental policy. She plans to organize a picnic on the West Lawn on Oct. 24 to celebrate the International Day of Climate Action. The event would attempt to influence pro-environment policies from the participants in the UN Climate Change Conference from Dec. 9 to 18.

“If there are enough people gathering worldwide to show their support for climate reform, [it calls] attention . . . to dissatisfied residents of the Earth,” Priester said.

If approved, the club’s advisor will be political science professor Rachael Cremona. She thinks the club will provide an opportunity for Flagler students to organize around political issues of concern to St. Johns County.

“I’m really supportive of the idea of students realizing that by getting involved they can make a difference,” said Cremona.

Priester hopes to build on student involvement by working closely with groups already on campus that are trying to promote environmental awareness, such as SGA’s Green Committee and the Outdoor Club.

“A green, sustainable environment is something we all strive for,” said Priester. “Uniting manpower and passion can only further our common goal.”

Cremona agrees that the issue of environmental sustainability is not a sectarian one. She said she wants to see Priester and other members strive for an inclusive and diverse political setting.

“I would really like to see them dispelling the myths that Greenpeace is only for people with certain political views,” she said.

Although Priester has submitted the necessary paperwork to establish a club, including a constitution and a list of proposed activities, Greenpeace still awaits approval by SGA. However, Priester remains confident about the new climate of student activism that will arise if the club gets approved.

“I feel like this is a really exciting time and opportunity for Flagler students to get at the ground level and make a difference,” she said.

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