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Earth Week kicks off Friday

By Laura McOsker
On April 20, 2007

This year, DePauw's celebration of Earth Week will be marked by more events and involvement than in the past. "I've seen it in a limited way on the lawn, but I think this year, with the number of people involved and involvement with the city, it's larger than we're used to," said professor Leslie James, who is helping to organize Earth Week.

Events kick off Friday with a concert on the East College lawn featuring bands, free vegan food, a rock-climbing wall and a drum circle. Another event will be held each day next week, including panel discussions, films and speakers.

"The entire purpose of the event is to get people into an outdoor setting, enjoying our environment here at DePauw. A lot of what we have planned is just trying to get people interested in the environment, excited about sustainability," said Doug Strodtman, sophomore and president of Environmental Club.

Environmental Club plans to use Little 5 as a way to promote Earth Week events. The group will hold a light bulb exchange and hand out water bottles at the track during Little 5 this Saturday.

Sophomore Beth Lunik said she sees DePauw's week-long celebration as returning to the traditional roots of Earth Day activities.

"We wanted to stick to the historical approach as a grassroots movement, and also make it pertinent to the whole community," Lunik said.

The event's organizers said they think of Earth Week as a preliminary event to encourage making campus sustainability a more popular and visible goal.

"Our basic goal was to raise campus consciousness on the subject of the environment and climate change," James said.

Calling themselves the "Inconvenient Truths" coordinating group, the students, faculty and staff became "a community of people who felt we really needed to raise this issue, and eventually we ended up with next week's program," James said.

For now, the organizers are focused on making the next week successful.

"It promises to be a full week of events," James said. "This can be a significant way in which DePauw can know itself as a community. We hope the community will support us as we participate in this initiative, which we think is an important one."

Strodtman urged everyone to attend Earth Week events with an open mind.

"Climate change is a non-partisan issue," he said. "If we don't enact significant change in the near future, this is something that might escalate to the point where it is irreparable. I hope we do get a good turnout, and help people understand the significance.


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