Explainer: Student climate change strikes

19 September 2019

Written by: Caitlin Pilatti

La Trobe students will not be penalised for taking part in climate change strikes.

Everyone is aware that our planet is in the grips of a climate crisis. With the student climate change strike, which is taking place all over Australia tomorrow, generating so much noise, here are the details you need to join the movement.

This isn’t the first time students have walked out of class demanding change. This particular global strike has been inspired by a Swedish school student Greta Thunberg, who sat in front of the Swedish parliament with a hand-painted sign “Skolstrejk för klimatet”. Each Friday leading up to the 2018 Swedish election she would skip class to protest. This stance kick-started the worldwide movement, gaining attention globally.

Since Thunberg’s protest, students have been motivated to leave school and demand action on climate change. In March earlier this year, students took to the streets in over 2,000 cities asking for responsibility to be taken. The upcoming strikes are set to be the biggest ones yet as adults are expected to unite with students.

When is the Climate Strike?

The upcoming strikes will take place on two successive Fridays strategically coinciding with an emergency climate action summit being held at the United Nations in New York beginning on 23 September.

Where can I join the strike?

Melburnians can join the strike at 2pm at the Treasury Gardens on Friday 20 September.

Will I be penalised for missed classes and assessments?

La Trobe University understands that climate change is an issue many students feel strongly about which is why those two attend the strike will not be disadvantaged. Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar reminds students that attending the strike is subject to complying with any course requirements, including compulsory attendance requirements that are already in place. Professor Dewar has also asked teaching staff to make alternative arrangements, where possible for any in-class assessments that are currently scheduled for 20 September.

“If you have assignments or other pieces of assessment that are due on 20 September, these should be submitted. Similarly, attending the strike should not compromise your contribution to activities such as group projects. If you are unsure how your assessment could be impacted by attending the strike, please discuss this with your subject coordinator,” Dewar said.

La Trobe students are raising awareness around the Bundoora campus with playful posters and messages in a bid to encourage mass numbers to join the strike.



Photo by Bob Blob on Unsplash