Students get down for Earth Day event
April 22, 2009 10:53 PM
The center of campus was filled with bikes and hippie fashions as students enjoyed music, films, food, and workshops to celebrate Earth Day Wednesday.
Sunshine and clear skies blessed the quad, Malcom X Plaza, and Cesar Chavez Center and helped produce a big turnout for the event to promote environmentally responsible lifestyles. Student organization ECO Students hosted the event, which was connected to Bike-to-School Day and the San Francisco Bike Coalition.
"There are a lot of people here," said freshman Journalism major Liza Sternik. "This event shows that anything can be made out of anything."
Sternik was on her way to change out of a dress made of kitchen drawer lining, garbage bags, and paper. She was a model featured in a fashion show displaying women's outfits designed with everything from Chinese food take-out boxes to blank CDs. The models circled Malcom X Plaza a few times before meeting in the middle for a hula-hoop and dance party.
This energy was present in all the day's events. A rowdy crowd cheered for a bike competition in which riders pushed and collided into each other in hopes of eliminating opponents by knocking them over. Later Oakland rap group Trunk Boiz moved around the stage singing about "Scraper" bikes, a style of decorative bike known to the Bay's Hyphy movement.
Senior Geography student Melissa Gordon introduced the band and was an emphatic host for much of the afternoon, shouting at students to "holla" at the day's different happenings.
"This place has been full since 9 a.m.," said she about the bike parking lot while bouncing up and down to the music.
Any student who rode a bike to school was offered free breakfast and lunch as well as "valet" parking in the middle of the quad. Participants also received a ticket for a raffle giving away a free bike, helmets, jackets, and bike shop gift certificates.
Besides entertainment there was also a lot of education going on at the event. An environmental film festival was held on to the top floor of the student center showing films on conservation, community, and nature appreciation. The Ecology Center of San Francisco, which was helped started by SF State students, was displaying the building possibilities of ecological materials such as adobe bricks and a toilet with a wood frame.
David Wentworth-Thrasher, a Civil Engineering junior and founding member of the Ecology Center, spent much of the day handing out cookies baked in a solar oven.
"We came here to teach young people about ecological building techniques, some of which are the most popular in the rest of the world," he said.
An environmental celebration on a notoriously progressive campus made the day perfect for many campaigners. A range of political groups, from a human rights organization to a 9/11 Truth Movement group, was tabling.
" The amount of young, like minded people here make this perfect to push our message," said Dave Schwerim, a Staff Director at Clean Water Action, a non-profit currently trying to get Styrofoam banned state-wide.
The day ended in a classic San Francisco celebration: a drum circle. Students danced, many in bare feet and many in hula-hoops, on the quad grass to shouts and the banging of large drums. The final jamboree barely beat out the clouds that would cover the sun by evening.
For event coordinator Marcielle Earwood, a senior International Relations major, the event was a huge success.
"It went really, really well and everyone here is so excited!" she said.
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