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Student leaders urge universities to support climate strikes

Today, student associations from around the country have called on Vice Chancellors’ and Chief Executives from their respective institutions to pledge support for the Strike 4 Climate (S4C) day of action on September 27th.

Across Aotearoa a movement has been growing of school students demanding urgent action on climate change. The time has come for the rest of New Zealand to respond to this call.

“We will be standing with school students to fight for our futures, and we want our tertiary institutions to stand alongside us.” says NZUSA President, James Ranstead.

“We are studying to prepare ourselves to be the leaders of tomorrow. If we don’t act now we won’t have a future, and will inherit the cost of todays inaction. There is no better way our tertiary institutions can help us prepare for the future than by helping to ensure we steer ourselves away from a path of climate catastrophe.”

Associations have sent letters, calling on their Vice Chancellors, lecturers, and other staff to join them for the Strike 4 Climate on September 27th. The letters have also requested that individual institutes issue a statement in support of the strike, and to enable staff and students to attend the Strike 4 Climate by whatever means they can make available.

“It’s a no brainer – the Climate crisis is, as the UN says, the defining issue of our times” said President of the Auckland University Students’ Association George Barton.

“The generation who will most feel the consequences of inaction – those in primary, intermediate and secondary schools – are standing up and its only right that we join with them as we too will inherit the consequences of inaction if nothing happens. AUSA and our association Faculty, School and Representative Student Groups are going to support the strike, and our open letter to the Vice Chancellor calls on Professor McCutcheon to do the same, and to sit down with us to discuss how the University of Auckland can fulfil its role to address this climate crisis”.

President of the Lincoln University Students’ Association Kristy Havill also provided direct written support to NZUSA, saying “The Lincoln University Students’ Association have a cooperative and constructive working relationship with the Vice-Chancellor. We are working together to achieve the common goal of making our campus more environmentally friendly, and we are supportive of participation in the Climate Strike on Friday 27 September”.

The global climate strikes are the third round of climate related strikes in New Zealand this year and are set for the 27th September. Organisers are widening the focus beyond school students, welcoming and encouraging all groups and individuals to stand for urgent climate action.


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