Rutgers' 'One' chapter shares national campaign for sustainability


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Photo by Michelle Klejmont |

The evening began by transporting students “Under ‘One’ Sky”: The Douglass Student Center was dim and the walls were lined with white, decorative lights that resembled stars.

The Rutgers’ chapter of a national initiative for sustainable policy called "One," hosted an information session on Wednesday night.

Student leader Lakshmi Kalluri, a School of Management and Labor Relations junior, hosted the evening. The session covered 17 different environmental and sustainability goals that can be placed into three groups: extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.

These are the same “2015 Global Goals,” known on social media as #GlobalGoals, that will be spoken about at the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit, according to the group’s Facebook page. These goals should all be accomplished by 2030.

Kalluri said this event is just one of many that will be going on around the world to prepare for the Global Summit.

“'One Campaign’ is a national organization. We have about 7 million people around the world,” Kalluri said.

All of the chapters will be raising awareness of the Summit on Sept. 25, including an event in New York City on Thursday night.

The evening featured guest speaker, Zakia Salime, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research overlaps with several of the 17 goals and focuses on global inequality as it intersects with gender. She spoke about how her class name changed over time, from "Sociology of the Third World" to "Global Inequality."

Being part of “One” is to not only accept that responsibility, but to also be proactive about it.

“We petition and we write letters. We do whatever we can do to give people that don’t have a voice, a voice,” Kalluri said.

Rosario Jimenez, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said as a club member, she uses her voice to write letters to congressmen as part of the Challenge Committee.

In addition to being informative, this event was also an outline for the chapter's goals for the year.

Tyree Dandy, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, attended the event because of his interest in the global initiatives.

“I hope to walk away with a better understanding of what we’re going to accomplish this year,” Dandy said.

The student organization at Rutgers shares common goals with 2,020 international organizations, according to the Facebook page.

The presentations spoke mostly about a commitment to our planet. It was echoed through the speeches of Salime, Kalluri and Tiffany Wu, a Rutgers Business School senior and president of “One.”

This sense of responsibility and commitment is also visible in the presidential campaigns of Democrats and Republicans in the race for the White House.

Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate, outlines on his campaign website his expectations for climate change and inequality.

The website reads, if America does not take responsibility for its actions involving the environment, future generations will ask, “Where were (we)?”

Additionally, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina said the best way to address climate change is with “innovation,” not “regulation," in a video on Fox News.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican candidate, does not have anything on his website about the issue. But according to ThinkProgress.org, he is on record saying, “There’s no use in denying global warming exists. The question is what we do to deal with it.”

Salime said everybody is affected by the 17 topics outlined at the event.

"Take your feelings and turn them into action," Wu said.


Brittany Gibson

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