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OUS promotes Earth Day in style

IRONTON — “Awareness,” “responsiveness,” “action.”

Just three words? Maybe on other days, but not on Earth Day and certainly not Wednesday at the Ohio University Southern campus.

Those three expressions, along with “passion,” “attentiveness,” and a host of other action words symbolized the calling cry of many students as OUS celebrated its first Earth Day on the 39th anniversary of the world-wide environmental movement.

Students and faculty along with many throughout the county spent the afternoon in observance of Earth Day — reflecting upon the importance of taking action to protect and preserve the planet.

Organized and coordinated by OUS biology major Joe Bass, the six-hour initiative included seminars, educational programs and activities related to Earth Day and improving the green thumbprint were held in the school’s courtyard and rotunda.

Bass said his vision of bringing campus sustainability to OUS was a goal he grasped months ago.

“The enthusiasm of the students and the collaboration of the school during the past six months for this event have been tremendous,” Bass said. “This event has gone off without a hitch.”

Nearly every department encircled the rotunda with visual and audio demonstrations and education presentations dealing with environmental issues such as eco psychology, alternative fuels, green education, recycling electronic and computer equipment, green nursing, recycling musical instruments, green business and smart car technology.

Lunch and refreshments were served from noon to 1 p.m. with entertainment provided by the bands “4-Mile” and “Kentucky Memories.” Poetry reading related to the celebration was read by Haley Haugen. Kids were treated in the late afternoon with face painting.

Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Orianna Carter said events like Earth Day are essential in driving the awareness of the current status of the environment.

“It is vitally important for us to become aware of the human footprint we leave,” Carter said. “Our number one role is to make people more aware. I personally have an important role in to make students aware of that.

Earth Day has been celebrated annually since 1970 and marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Since then, the celebrations have grown in stature and the movement has become more mainstream as the years have gone by.

It is the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities

Geared mostly towards college students, April 22 was selected as the annual date of Earth Day as it did not fall during exams or spring break, did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover and was late enough in spring to have decent weather.

When asked if the success of this year’s events would inspire an encore in 2010, Bass, who graduates this year, didn’t hesitate for a second.

“This is only the start. We’ll have it again next year.”