Where did Earth Day go?

A USC Sustainability Earth Week banner in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Michael Chow)

As Monday marks the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, USC has become part of a concerning trend; a decline in participation of environmental initiatives. In fact, many students weren’t even aware it was Earth Day.

“I feel guilty and kind of stupid that I didn’t know [it was Earth Day],” said Molly Glad, a senior studying health promotion and disease prevention studies. “I feel like with the university being so pro-helping the environment…receiving an email would have been nice to put it out there.”

Historically, USC has been an example of environmental awareness, organizing a multitude of events and initiatives to celebrate Earth Day. From campus clean-ups to educational seminars and awareness campaigns, the university was committed to sustainability efforts.

On the first honorary Earth Day in 1970, USC students strived to spread awareness about environmental causes by placing a gas mask on Tommy Trojan. Students also participated in a car engine burial ceremony on campus to signify the fight against pollution.

These different activities not only encouraged a sense of environmental leadership among students, faculty and staff, but also highlighted USCs commitment to addressing various global issues.

However, recently there has been a decline in the level of enthusiasm and promotion surrounding Earth Day events across campus.

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