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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Students gather in quad for Earth Day festivities
Adrian Balaj, student senator, working the Phi Theta Kappa fundraiser booth at the Earth Day celebration at City College April 24. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Alex Cortez | Staff Writer | [email protected]

Some vendors sold fresh fruit, while others sold vibrant summer clothing or traditional garments, along with handcrafted decorations and jewelry while food trucks were stationed near the fountain across from the Performing Arts building.

The 49th anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated April 22, but for City College students Earth Day came on April 24 in the quad. City College student honors group Phi Theta Kappa hosted an all day event featured exhibitors such as SMUD and the California State Beekeepers Association, along with nine vendors and four student clubs.

Despite the warm day in the 90s, student were able to find ample shade, fresh food, and cold drinks, plus lively discussion that was focused around helping keep the earth green.

The California Beekeepers Association, a foundation built on relocating hives without hurting the bee’s ecosystem, was a popular attraction.

Beekeeper Blake Dacy spent the day giving out information and tips to help people understand how the bees help people get what they need to survive before heading out to an appointment to save a hive.

“(Earth Day) helps keeps us in touch with our food supply,” said Dacy. “It’s easy to go to the supermarket and see the packaged food, and it’s frozen and hard as a brick, but if you go to a garden, you get to see fresh produce and see where your food comes from and that’s healthy for people.”

The Sierra Club, according to their website is a nonprofit organization founded in 1892 by John Muir and a group of his friends to protect the Pacific Coast and make it accessible to all. Their missions have evolved over time as global issues have changed, but they say their purpose has remained the same—to bring people together to defend Earth’s natural resources and everyone’s right to enjoy them.

Volunteers for the club talked about not only the climate change but the issues that lead to it, such as clear-cutting land, when every tree from an area is cut down and removed. Their brochure reads, “clear-cutting is an extreme form of logging that destroys forests.” but also endangered species, clean energy, and human rights.

Francesca Reitano, a retired state employee, who now volunteers with the Sierra Club, said that she was surprised that college students knew more about the issues affecting our planet—more than people her age.

“I was talking to women across the way about women or LGBTQ issues. It’s just like breathing to younger people with all this diversity,” said Reitano.  

Reitano said that students looking to get involved should stay in school and learn ways that people can shake up the older generation. She also mentioned that it’s important not only learning about the issues but also to find a solution to them.

“Engaging, but not just with each other like Greta Thunberg is doing now. They’re shaking the older people and saying, ‘This is our world we’re going to inherit, and we want it to be a good world,” Reitano said.

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Phi Theta Kappa Vice President Rob Shideler said that humans are lucky to have a planet that provides so much for them and that Earth day is like Thanksgiving.

“Even though it’s something we should appreciate every day, it’s just a way to celebrate everything the world gives us and remind ourselves to do what we need to protect it,” said Shideler.

Shideler said he was having fun and happy to see fellow students mingling and having healthy discussions, but he also felt students could do more than talk to help the environment.

“If college students came out and voted like people over the age of 50- and 60-year-olds did, the conversations in the legislative chamber, and even the news, would all be different if students got involved,” said Shideler.

Shideler said if he was able to meet Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, Shideler would ask Nelson, “Why it couldn’t be more than one day?”

As the day got hotter, so did the crowd, who made their way to cold water and other drinks offered by the food trucks. PTK also sold lemonade for $.50 or a $1.

As the day continued, students made their way through the quad to visit the other tables like the Intersectional Feminism Club, which participated by having a clothing exchange.

IFC president Raquel Mitchell agreed with as Shideler, saying that she believed that Earth Day should be celebrated every day and that students looking to get involved should talk to their local officials.

“You can’t just respect the Earth for one day, but it’s a good way to bring attention to the problems like pollution,” said Mitchell.

She also felt that most of the responsibility falls on big corporations, which she said creates the most pollutions, but also that humans can do their part but doing things like taking shorter showers. She also saw Earth Day as a learning experience.

Mitchell said that if she met Nelson, she’d thank him for creating such a wonderful day.

“There’s always something for me to learn about what’s happening to the environment,  so it’s nice to talk to people about it,” said Mitchell. “Knowing what’s happening around the world—even though it’s depressing—it’s good to know.

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