Another Students Taking on Oil & Petrochemicals (STOP) update incoming from our STOP Coordinator, Rachael!
We’re quickly approaching the end of our STOP cohort this year, and I feel so lucky to have been able to work with this awesome group of students. Over the past semester, we’ve been able to have discussions around privilege and oppression, fossil fuels and war, direct action, college student positionality, artivism, capitalism and false solutions, leadership turnover, and more. The students have built skills around press and media, campaign timelining, action design, recruitment, facilitation, petitioning, and a whole host of organizing skills to build their campaigns.
Amanda (she/her, ‘23) has been working hard campaigning for the Break Free From Plastics pledge at the University of Pittsburgh; she’s also launching a project to put up air monitors around campus in the steel- and petrochemical-polluted Mon Valley.
Danielle (she/her, ‘22) got over 1,000 signatures on her petition for West Virginia University to sign the Break Free From Plastics pledge and is now moving forward to take action with the student government on the issue.
Delaney (she/her, ‘24) launched a Break Free From Plastics petition at the University of Cincinnati and is building the foundations for a long-term campaign on her campus.
Ian (he/him, ‘23) is coordinating the next phase of the reusable dishware program at Bethany College and is bringing a series of speakers on Earth Day, along with Danielle, to talk about the range of consequences from the petrochemical industry for the Ohio River Valley.
Kenlee (she/they, ‘23) is working with the new president at Marshall University to ensure that they will follow through on the Break Free From Plastics pledge signed in the fall of 2020; she’s also been engaging in artivism projects on campus to repurpose plastic waste as a tool for petrochemical education on campus.
Natalie (she/her, ‘24) formed the Convergent Activists club at Washington and Jefferson and was able to host a panel of activists to discuss the implications of the petrochemical industry for southwest Pennsylvania; she’s now working to plan Earth Day events, including hosting a book tour from the Intersectional Environmentalist, Leah Thomas.
It’s bittersweet to come to the close of this year’s cohort, but I’m so thrilled to see all of the hard work the students have put into their campaigns and their growth, and I’m sure this won’t be the last you hear of them! 🙂