One bus and eight cars were needed to carry the 104 Bowdoin students to New York City to join the People’s Climate March on Sunday.
Organizers of the march, which drew over 300,000 people, are calling it the largest climate change demonstration in history. The event preceded the U.N. Climate Summit Tuesday.
The student group Bowdoin Climate Action raised money and arranged logistics to send students the city. Allyson Gross ’16, one of the group’s leaders, said many of the participants were first-years. “It’s a wonderful way to get them involved, get them to New York, get them active and show them how they can get involved in our campus,” she said.
The big turn-out from Bowdoin conveys the energy students have around climate change, Gross noted. “A lot of times Bowdoin feels politically inactive, and people are focused on classes and their day-to-day lives,” she said. “But we know a lot of students care about climate change and we wanted to get a lot of people down there to show we care about this issue.”
The Bowdoin students marched with the student-and-youth block of demonstrators. Upwards of 500 colleges and universities were represented, Gross estimated. This youthful contingent began its walk about 10 blocks away from the march’s actual starting point near Columbus Circle. Leaving at 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning, the students didn’t arrive at their destination, 30 blocks and 2.2 miles away, until 4:30 p.m.
“It was really powerful,” Gross said. “And it was really, really moving, particularly for me coming from an area [near Houston] where many people are climate-change deniers, to see people having that power and saving this is something we need to act on.”