Indiana State University Newsroom

Earth Day draws thousands to Indiana State's quad

April 23, 2015

Thousands of students, staff and Terre Haute-area residents gathered on Indiana State University's quadrangle on April 15 to celebrate Earth Day.

Throughout the day, events encompassed aspects of sustainability and how to better protect the environment with the usage of natural products and practices. The event is sponsored by Indiana State's Institute for Community Sustainability.

"We planned for Earth Day starting in February," said Meghan Hoskins, a senior and member of the student-run Sycamore Environmental Action Club. "Not only did we participate in ISU's Earth Day, but we also participated in St. Mary of the Woods' celebration as well. We wanted to focus on the trash timeline and informing people how long it takes to decompose and turn back into soil and ways to save money and reduce your waste at the same time. For instance, it takes four weeks for a paper towel to decompose, and a million years for a glass bottle."

As positive as the vibes were on the quad, criticism of the university's oil drilling was top of mind for some Sycamore Action Club members. In late December 2013, Lawrenceville, Ill.-based Pioneer Company started horizontal drilling on university property east of campus for oil and gas. The proceeds, which totaled $350,000 in the first year, will be used to address deferred maintenance on campus.

"There is currently a petition going around campus for people to sign asking President Bradley and the ISU Foundation to start a conversation about fossil fuel divestment and provide more transparency concerning any environmentally destructive decision that could impact the State community," Hoskins said.

Businesses and organizations also offered information by way of games and prizes, as participants enjoyed a picnic lunch and live music courtesy of the Scott Weber Band.

"I liked the live music, and I enjoyed how the university, as well as the community is taking the initiative to inform students on sustainability and ways we can keep our earth healthy and clean," said Daja Isom, a psychology major.

This year's sustainability awards were presented to Sarah Copeland, Mark Pupilli, Eric Anderson and Tom Derrick for their environmentally friendly efforts. Prizes include a bicycle, a sustainable catered lunch with the Bradleys and gift certificates to sustainable local businesses.

"Earth Day is a great way to get students to see not only the harmful toxins we produce in our climate, but it also gave insight on how we can change our everyday practices to better help climate change and globalization," said senior Tierra Artis.

An afternoon concert featuring Ross David and Levi Jones gave festival-goers all the more reason to linger outside. Indiana State's Earth Day celebration concluded with the showing of the movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies."


Photos: -- President Dan Bradley visits with vendors at Indiana State University's sustainability fair as part of Earth Day on April 15. -- The Scott Weber Band performs at Indiana State University's Earth Day celebration on April 15. -- Students sign up for information about sustainability at Indiana State University's Earth Day celebration on April 15.

Writer: Dierre Littleton, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or