As millions of students and supporters around the world prepare to strike for climate change on Sept. 27, Memorial University’s senior leaders have signed on to the MUN Crisis Pledge.
The Crisis Pledge, created by a coalition of students, faculty, staff and community members, calls on the university to declare a climate emergency and work with the coalition to take meaningful action to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets. It calls for timely action at every level of the university, including curriculum, research, community outreach and all of the other ways the institution interacts with the world.
‘Collective, co-operative and collaborative’
Simon Hofman, member of the Climate Action Coalition and student at the Marine Institute, says that the support of senior leaders is essential.
“Our vision of climate action is a collective, co-operative and collaborative approach, so having the entire university body supportive of our action is the only way we can fight something as impossible as climate change,” he said.
The coalition plans to bring the pledge forward to Memorial’s two governing bodies, Senate and the Board of Regents.
Senate has already provided support to the coalition through the approval of a motion to encourage academic units and professors to grant academic amnesty on Sept. 27 to allow students to participate in the Global Climate Strike.
Memorial’s leaders have also shown support for employee participation in the strike, asking supervisors to make reasonable accommodations while ensuring critical operations are maintained.
Kent Decker, vice-president (administration and finance), is one of the signatories to the MUN Crisis Pledge. He says the university recognizes the importance of responding to the climate crisis.
“I look forward to working with the Climate Action Coalition to find innovative solutions to address the climate crisis. The passion of students, faculty and staff who are involved with climate action on campus is an inspiration for us all to take action.”