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

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Student Organizations Collaborate to Put On Earth Festival

Several student clubs work together to serve various climate-centered initiatives.
Torch Photo / Malak Kassem

Several student organizations collaborated to put together a University-wide Earth Festival marking this year’s Earth Day on April 22. Student groups set up tables, games and activities at D’Angelo Center (DAC) Plaza from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Collaborators included the Student Government, Inc. (SGi) Sustainability Committee, Catholic Relief Services, R.I.S.E, Palestine Solidarity Committee, The Queens Thrift, Gabe Torres Thrift Co., Radical Love Free Store and Her Campus

Student organizations had various activities and products to offer that advocate for their diverse initiatives. 

Bailey Bodner, a representative for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), attended the festival to raise awareness about Fair Trade, a “product certification that ensures that workers are paid a fair wage, safe working conditions” combined with sustainable practices for the environment. 

The organization set up a table at the festival, filling it with take-home flyers and free samples from Fair Trade companies.

“The main goal for us is just spreading information,” said Bodner. “A lot of people either haven’t heard about Fair Trade or have some misconceptions about it.” 

The Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) had tools for attendees to plant trees at the event. 

“It’s not a happy Earth Day, if anything, it’s a terrible one,” said PSC president Sara Khan. “[Palestinian] olive trees are still being destroyed. I want to make sure that every day there’s awareness for Palestine.”

One of the reasons that PSC participated in the Earth Festival was to give Palestinian advocacy another platform on campus. 

Several students were also raising awareness of the importance of sustainable fashion, including Max Rodgers, who ran a table selling vintage clothing, “We have a lot of vintage pieces, varying from places like L Train Vintage and different Goodwills,” said Max Rodgers. “I hope that people can get some cool pieces and learn the value of thrifting.” 

He highlighted the importance of upcycling clothing when emptying out your closet, rather than throwing them out. 

“I feel like people are quick to throw out cool outfits, but you can upcycle those and they can go to people who will enjoy them.”

Some activities at today’s festival included scavenger hunts around DAC, tree planting and a smoothie bike. All students were invited to partake in activities across different stations, including a stationary bike that used energy from pedaling to power a blender that would later be served for drinks.

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About the Contributor
Malak Kassem
Malak Kassem, News Editor
Malak Kassem is a third-year journalism student serving as the News Editor for the 2024-2025 academic year. She has previously been on the editorial board as Opinion Editor for the Fall 2023 semester. When she's not writing for The Torch, Malak loves going for long walks and baking. Malak can be reached at [email protected].
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