Students NATIONWIDE ditch class for 'Climate Strike'

Yale, Rutgers, and the University of California-Berkeley are just some of the schools participating.

Students across the United States are ditching class, advocating action to combat climate change.

Students at universities across the country are skipping class to protest climate change, following in the footsteps of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl who caught international attention after she walked out of her high school class for the same cause.

The marches are part of the global “Climate Strike” effort, a movement that is encouraging students to leave their classes  to “demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis,” and to “demand a right to a future.” 

Here are just some of the major schools participating: 

1. University of Montana

Students at the University of Montana walked out of class on Friday to lead the week-long Missoula Climate Strike, set to run through Friday, September 27. 

“If I really believe the science, I can’t, in good conscience, sit in class and prepare for a future I’m never going to have,” strike organizer junior Sarah Sriraman said, according to the Montana Kaimin.

Freshman Gemma Sladich is also an organizer of the event. She drafted a letter to the local public school district demanding that climate change curriculum be integrated, and condemning an alleged statement from the superintendent that said the district was “viewpoint-neutral.” The superintendent has since said that the district is “not neutral” on the topic.

2. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Students at the University of Nevada- Las Vegas ditched class on Friday in the name of climate change. They were joined by students from three local technical institutes and two local high schools, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

3. Yale University

Yale students are saving their walkout for September 25, but they have a more specific request for their university: divest from fossil fuel companies. 

“As students, we have a role in this and we are saying we are not okay with how Yale is making money,” student organizer Alex Cohen, who acknowledged that the walk out “will be a disruption of class for a few minutes,” said, according to the Yale Daily News. Cohen encouraged others to stand up and announce their reason for leaving class.

4. Rutgers University

Accompanied by younger counterparts from local high schools and middle schools, hundreds of Rutgers students plan to march both on campus and at a local park.

“Our leaders at the university and elected officials of this district are very much able to use nice words to say they’re in support of zero carbon emissions, but we don’t need nice words, we need adequate action immediately,” Rutgers student James Boyle said, according to “Time is running out.”

5. San Diego 

Both San Diego State University and the University of San Diego joined local groups for their Friday walkout. They were accompanied by nine local high schools and one middle school. The two other major local universities, California State University-San Marcos and the University of California-San Diego, will hold similar events on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. 

6. University of California-Berkeley

 Faculty, staff, and students at UC-Berkeley joined the global climate change protest on  Friday. According to a university news release, faculty members held a 20-minute “teach-in.” The news release boasted the fact that UC-Berkeley and all other UC campuses signed a letter to declare a “climate emergency.”

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