To the over 50 students, staff, and faculty that Occupied Lorentzsen on Tuesday, March 12th:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This quote, attributed to Margaret Mead, has never been more relevant to Concordia College students than it is today.
You signed the petition. You shared it on social media. You marched from the Atrium to Lorentzsen. You chanted, “For us to gain, we must sustain!” You occupied. And you are playing an active role in changing this campus for the better. You showed the administration that you truly care about sustainability. You were willing to skip out on the last minutes of class and the first minutes of lunch to stand together and push for change at Concordia. As students, you broke out of the norm of waiting for approval and playing by the rules when it comes to asking for something. And it worked—President Craft and the rest of the administration heard our desires loud and clear.
President Craft explained new initiatives that we can track to keep Concordia accountable for its sustainability efforts. He mentioned the STARS program, new energy meters on the buildings, and seeking LEED certification for several places on campus. He promised to share our vision and goals with the President’s Sustainability Council, so it can hopefully be integrated into the work they’re currently doing.
However, we’re not done yet.
Tuesday proved that there are Concordia students who are fired up about sustainability. There are students who are passionate, committed and willing to step outside of the usual way of doing things to really get sustainability efforts moving in the right direction. As students, we can say that we care about sustainability all we want; it’s easy to do. We can sign petitions and post things on Facebook—but today, we showed the entire campus just how important it is to us. We’re asking for Concordia College to alert us of their plans for sustainable action by Earth Day—April 22nd. However, we need to keep this momentum going and continue having conversations about sustainability and improvements the college can make before then. This needs to be our mission, and we need to make sure that there are concrete plans in place before we leave campus in May.
We couldn’t have occupied without you. Your bodies, voices and passion filled Lorentzsen and made everyone know just what we wanted. Concordia teaches us to become “responsibly engaged in the world”; it’s a phrase we hear over and over again. You should be proud that you took an active role in one of the first grassroots, student-led protests Concordia College has seen in years. If that’s not BREWing, well, we don’t know what is.
Thanks for your support today. We can’t wait to keep this movement going.
This letter was submitted by Kelsey Kava, Concordia class of 2013.