South students participate in climate change walkout at IU

Jordis Kieffer, Staff Writer

Seniors Alex Kutza and Celie Kreilkamp carrying a banner (Tea Held)

     On February 8th, BHSS S.A.G.E club (a club advocating for a greener and more sustainable future and environment) went out and rallied with Sunrise Bloomington. They asked the president of IU, Pamela Whitten, and the IU Foundation to have a meeting with Sunrise Bloomington to talk about divesting from fossil fuels and investing in a more sustainable future for IU. 

       Sunrise Bloomington is a climate action group that consists of people of the Bloomington community. Their main goal is to bring a positive change to climate justice, and currently is trying to get IU to divest from fossil fuels. They believe that if IU could have a meeting with them about this idea then IU could see a more sustainable future like other colleges such as the University of Michigan, Seattle University, Cornell University, and many others. 

      During the S.A.G.E walkout, they walked around campus and 10th Street in the middle of the day holding signs and banners saying things like “Disclose, Divest, Reinvest,” “IU wants clean energy,”and “Climate Justice Now.” All together, from the high school students, IU students and staff, and the Bloomington community, there were over 140 people who came out.

Alex Kutza, a senior at BHSS and part of Sunrise Bloomington, participated in the walk-out and rally and feels like he “ can’t think of anything more inspiring and empowering than using your voice for something you believe in, knowing you have people standing right beside you.”

       The Wednesday after the rally, IU finally decided to commit to a meeting with Sunrise Bloomington after years of their meetings being turned down. At the meeting, Sunrise and other IU student groups aiming for the same goals talked to President Pamela Whitten and J.T Forbes (CEO of IU foundation) about what their outlook on divestment was for IU. Neither one of them felt like IU should fully commit to getting rid of fossil fuels. Following that statement, the IU foundation said they will not have any other meeting with Sunrise Bloomington nor any student organizations hoping for the same thing. This being said, Sunrise Bloomington does not plan on giving up and hopes to keep working to have another meeting with the IU Foundation.

South senior Tilly Robinson speaking at the rally (Tea Held)

       Kutza believes that “a united group of young people passionate about their future has power.”

He goes on to say “it’s important that they know high schoolers have the highest stakes in the climate crisis, and where we leave off, and that there will be others that take our place.”

      Kutza and many other high schoolers all believe change can’t just happen in one rally and meeting, but with this new generation of youth and if they keep pushing for a better future and everyone gets involved, then we may see change.