The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Earth Fest 2022: Here’s How You Can Get Involved

St. John’s clubs and organizations hosted a festival promoting climate sustainability, and students can still contribute to the mission.



Queens, NY— St. John’s University clubs and organizations gathered at the DAC Plaza on Thursday to celebrate Earth Fest 2022, an event intended to help students learn more about environmental sustainability, social justice, global justice and how they can help make a greener planet.

It was organized by the St. John’s Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in partnership with other organizations and committees at the University — Feminists Unite, Earth Club, Student Government, Inc. (SGi) Sustainability Committee, The Animal Rights Association, Society for Global Development & Sustainability , R.I.S.E, Department of Student Wellness and SGi Health & Wellness Committee

Starting at 4 p.m., tables were set in front of DAC Plaza including music, giveaways and ice cream. At 6 p.m., students gathered on the Sun Yat Sen Lawn to watch a screening of “Wall-E,” which concluded the festivities.

 “We are really just engaging in making sure that St. John’s has a better environmental footprint,” said Brandon Hinds, treasurer of the Earth Club . “I know that I am living on this planet and if it is not okay, I am not going to be okay.”

Hinds and his fellow Earth Club members raffled off beauty care products, sending all proceeds to a bee conservatory.  The club offered cookies and emphasized the Earth Club’s goals and initiatives. “If you guys didn’t realize, we don’t really use plastic bags anymore when it comes to DAC and in the food places,” Hinds said. “We’re always informing students on how they can make their ecological footprint even smaller.”

PICTURED: (from left to right) Earth Club members Jenna Giamarino, Caitlin Sullivan and Brandon Hinds.
TORCH PHOTO / Olivia Seaman

Climate change affects different groups of people in different ways, and organizations vow to highlight intersectional climate change, which reveals how climate injustices affect individuals and groups by their situatedness in power structures. 

“Your proximity to oppression is a lot of times linked with your proximity to climate consequences. If you have the resources and the privilege to avoid that consequence, it is something that you can do,” said Sophie Gable, President of Feminists Unite. “[Those affected by] oppression as a whole often feel the crisis of climate change a lot more than those who have more privilege.”

PICTURED: (from left to right) Feminists Unite Members Sophie Gable and Constance Sapienza.
TORCH PHOTO / Olivia Seaman

Their group “promotes the message of feminism and equality on an intersectional basis, not just advocating for women’s rights, but LGBTQ+, civil rights, black rights, etc,” Gable continued. “Feminism is advocating for everybody and equality is not achieved until you do that.”

Other programs in attendance included the Ozanam Scholars Program, which held a book and clothing drive inside the D’Angelo Center. The social justice program paired with Read718 and Hour Children, two NYC-based nonprofits dedicated to helping marginalized youth. 

PICTURED: Ozanam Scholar Jennifer Obiesie
TORCH PHOTO / Olivia Seaman

“We are taking donations of clothes and books to give back to these really amazing organizations who are giving back to the community and children of the five boroughs,” said first-year scholar Gabriella Onesto.“Providing service and resources to people who need them is an integral part of being a good civic citizen and giving back to a world that has given so much to me. Giving back to these people is us doing what we were made to do.”

 The Ozanam Scholars Program will be taking clothing and book donations until April 28 in Lourdes Hall. 

Organizations and committees joined together, one day prior to Earth Day, to inform students about the numerous methods they could use to leave a positive environmental footprint and fight the ongoing climate change crisis. That can range from using reusable bags, recycling or using public transportation.  

For more information on how you can help fight climate injustices in the St. John’s community, visit the links to the featured clubs and organizations.




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