The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Lily Gouin
Lily Gouin
Assistant Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Lily Gouin I am in my third year here at NMU. I am from Appleton, WI majoring in communications and double minoring in multimedia journalism and public relations. In my free time, I like...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

TIMES ARE CHANGING — FAFSA announced changes to its filing system in February.
Editorial — The "better" FAFSA
North Wind Editorial BoardFebruary 27, 2024

Class mobilizes march to fight climate change

As a part of a PR 432 Environmental Campaign class, students have organized a march against climate change to take place at noon Sunday, Sept. 21, starting at the power plant on South Beach and ending at the Presque Isle power plant.

Jes Thompson, communication and performance studies assistant professor, said the idea came about during a single class period.

“We were just in class talking about campaign design and environmental campaign strategy and how you’ve got to get people to do something,” Thompson said. “Education isn’t enough to inspire the changes necessary to improve the environment.”

Students started planning the march after watching the documentary “Disruption,” which is not only about how people disrupt the climate, but how people can disrupt the normal politics associated with climate change.

Story continues below advertisement

The end of the documentary encouraged viewers to travel to New York City to participate in largest march against climate change, The People’s Climate March. According to Thompson, the class wanted to travel to New York City to join the campaign, but that was unattainable because the carbon footprint to travel from Marquette would outweigh the benefits.

The goal of The People’s Climate March in Marquette is to raise awareness of climate change and possibly be the largest march against climate change in the U.P., according to Thompson.

“The problem with climate change isn’t the science and it’s not the policy,” Thompson said. “It’s all social; it’s human behavior. We’re addicted to conveniences and we have to actively reflect upon that if we’re going to make a difference.”

Senior public relations major Savannah Mallo said being a part of the planning process for the event was inspiring.

“To be able to jump into action and do something that actually makes a difference and that we can get the community involved in is super inspiring,” Mallo said. “It was a spur of the moment thing. We said, ‘why don’t we do this? We have just as much power as the people in New York.’”

The People’s Climate March in Marquette is a satellite march of the one taking place in New York City.

According to the People’s Climate March website, the march coincides with a United Nations summit, where the secretary general will advocate a global agreement to reduce global warming pollution.

Mallo said the Marquette march is a great way to get involved, implement change and contribute to raising awareness.

“This is our chance to take action on this issue that seems big and overwhelming and that you can’t do anything to change it,” Mallo said.

Initially the idea was to march across campus, according to Thompson, but students suggested marching from power plant to power plant because of the symbolism of the two plants.The distance is about four miles and Thompson said people could walk or bike and join at different locations, such as McCarty’s Cove.

“You could join anywhere,” Thompson said. “The whole idea is that you join.”

The organization of the march fits perfectly with the class objectives, according to Thompson, but also provided students with an experience much greater than just learning theory.

“The process of figuring out how to plan and organize an event is going to be invaluable to my students,” Thompson said. “But I also think it’s important that they’re part of something, something meaningful that they can tell their children they actively worked to make the planet a better, healthier, happier place.”

The community is encouraged to get involved, according to junior public relations major Alyson Obermiller, and posters have been hung at local businesses.

“I think it’s really moving and motivating,” Obermiller said. “I think it’s great that we are trying to activate a community that is really progressive. I think this is something that the community can get on board with, so I’m happy to front line it, attack it and make a difference and raise awareness.”

The class will be making posters for the marching at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 in the academic mall and Thompson invited everyone planning on marching to join them.

Marchers are encouraged to bike, walk or carpool to the South Beach power plant. Updates on the event can be found on the Facebook event, “The People’s Climate March: Marquette.”

More to Discover