Recently, hundreds of Ole Miss students came together in a collaborative effort that combined tailgating and activism to engage Mississippians about the urgent topic of climate change. On October 24th, the Ole Miss v. Arkansas game coincided with the 350.org International Day of Climate Action. Following a week of events planned by the Students United for a Green Campus (SGC) and the Office of Sustainability, 1000 game day stickers that read “350.org” were passed out to those in the Grove for the Saturday game. One highlight of the day was finding a tent full of Elvis impersonators from New Orleans who gladly sported the 350.org stickers! Throughout the day, volunteers from SGC and student interns passed out stickers and talked to people about reducing carbon emissions, while also encouraging tailgaters to come together after the game to mark the occasion with a photo. At 3:50 pm, following the Ole Miss victory, students, and faculty gathered to capture a part of history. Standing under the archway at the Walk of Champions in the Grove, tailgaters gathered to display their 350.org stickers and posters bearing signatures from hundreds of members of the Ole Miss community who had pledged to do their own part in reducing carbon emissions.The event was organized to draw attention to the need to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere, and, as Elizabeth Seratt, a student intern for the Office of Sustainability who helped with the event pointed out, “It was a definite success.” The current level of carbon in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million (PPM), is 387 PPM. For the ecosystems of our world to be healthy, and to avoid the disastrous effects of sea-level rise, we must bring that number below 350 PPM. Before the day of action, Jim W. Morrison, Campus Sustainability Coordinator, said that, “University of Mississippi has committed itself to lowering its carbon footprint. Events like 350 promote awareness among the students who must be engaged to achieve this goal.”And students are definitely engaged in this goal at Ole Miss. Many people were affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike from the University of Mississippi, and they understand that the effects of climate change are already being felt in the Gulf coast and beyond. The best part about the 350.org event was the way in which so many groups on campus could organize for the same purpose. I was able to get involved because of what I learned at GRN’s Students United for a Healthy Gulf Leadership Conference in September. After meeting with campus organizations such as Students United for a Green Campus and the Office of Sustainability, I realized there were a lot of people in the community who wanted to be a part of this day and the event was that much more successful because of how many people got involved. Working with GRN as an intern has allowed me to learn so much about the issues facing the Gulf coast and our world, and has given me invaluable skills in organizing people to achieve a common goal.Aubrey Wingo is a Senior at University of Mississippi and GRN’s Mississippi Intern this semester.

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