OES Promotes Activism in “All In” Campaign
Issue   |   Tue, 03/01/2016 - 23:52

The Office of Environmental Sustainability is holding the Amherst All In initiative this week, a T-shirt campaign designed to encourage positive student attitudes towards environmental activism.

Planning for the Amherst All In campaign began last semester. According to the campaign’s student organizer Suhasini Ghosh ’16, the campaign’s name comes from the goal of demonstrating the widespread effect of environmentalism on daily life.

“There is such a stigma that is associated with people that care about or support environmentalism and sustainability,” Ghosh said. “That stigma is of the ‘tree hugger’ and prevents people from becoming fully in support of these issues.”

The first part of the campaign took place last Thursday and Saturday and encouraged students to make statements about the personal importance of environmentalism and receive an Amherst All In tee for their efforts. The students also had their photos taken to raise awareness.

According to Ghosh, the organizers advertised these events mainly by word of mouth. Sixty students participated in this portion of the campaign.

“We talked to people from different groups around campus to see if people would be in support of it,” Ghosh said. “It wasn’t just the environmental studies majors, or the people involved in green groups on campus.”

The next step will be tabling in Keefe campus center on Wednesday, where more students will have the opportunity to write a statement about environmentalism and receive a T-shirt.

“We did the first two rounds of photo-taking just to create some buzz around it,” said Laura Draucker, director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability. She said that while all stages of this campaign are open to all students, Wednesday’s events would be better advertised than the photo-taking events last week.

Draucker said that the Office of Environmental Sustainability and leaders of student-run environmental groups on campus will use the statements made by participants to gauge the student body’s attitudes and thoughts toward environmental issues. According to Draucker, a common theme among many statements was a focus on questions of social justice.
The office plans to use this information to inform future on-campus programming, such as speaker events, that deals with environmental issues.

Ghosh is encouraging students to wear their shirts in solidarity on Friday to round out the final component of the initiative.