A group of ten University of Utah students led by Colin Green, one of the directors of The Climate Campaign, traveled to Provo in hopes of cooperating with Brigham Young University (BYU) students to raise awareness for climate change.
At halftime during the rivalry football game between the two schools on Saturday, students participating in The Climate Campaign lit the block Y above LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo purple. The color represents BYU and the U, whose school colors are blue and red, working together.
Earlier that week, U students visited BYU in an attempt to one-up the BYU students’ flower challenge of Aug. 23. The U students arrived at BYU’s campus on the school’s first day, Tuesday Sept. 5, in hopes of leaving their mark before the semester’s first classes began.
Although U students have pulled pranks involving BYU’s Brigham Young statue in the past, this was different. This time the statue was bedecked with an assortment of several shades of purple flowers. A custom-painted football helmet — half red and half blue with The Climate Campaign’s slogan “United We Stand” — and a jersey were laid at the foot of the statue. Left with the flowers was a sign that said, “This is the place! To fight climate change.”
“The purple flowers represent the Ute’s red and BYU’s blue bleeding together to make purple,” said U student and participant Carly Lansche. “They are meant to represent unity and to catch people’s attention. I mean, who doesn’t notice the beauty of a flower?”
As students made their way to their classes, some noticed the adorned statue and took the time to stop and look at it. Some onlookers took photos, and one “threw a mighty fist bump in the air,” according Green.
“We got to the campus before most of the students got there so we didn’t get to see too many of the reactions that people had,” Lansche recalled. “We did get a couple thumbs up which felt good, and we did get a few confused looks since we were wearing clothes that represented the U on their campus.”
Both directors, Utah’s Colin Green and BYU’s Nicholas Huey, have received numerous emails from students expressing interest in the campaign.
“The response has been really, really positive,” said Green. “It’s been exciting for me. It’s nice that we can give those responses an avenue to be engaged.”
For those in the greater community who are interested in the campaign and want to get involved, Green said social media is a great way to spread word of the cause. The campaign has found that connecting through social networking has played a significant role in the growth of the movement. Green and Huey hope to work with businesses around Salt Lake City that are taking action to become more sustainable.
Lansche said, “I hope that the Climate Campaign’s impact inspires people to be unafraid of bringing climate change into conversations, and that these conversations can elicit much-needed change in the real world.”