Climate Change Demonstrators Gather at Old Main

Audio/Story posted September 23, 2019 in CommRadio, News by Maddie Biertempfel

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Friday, hundreds of thousands worldwide participated in the Global Climate Strike to call for action against climate change. Here in Centre County, about 100 people gathered at Old Main, holding signs and chanting, joining in with the global protest.

Cassidy Fry is a Penn State graduate student who attended the demonstration.

“I heard about it kind of last minute, but it’s a really awesome strike, and being led by so many high school-[age], young children is really awesome, so we came out for it,” Fry said.

Fry joined the protests made popular by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist who testified before two House committees about climate change last week.

Students from nearby high schools, including State High and Bellefonte, skipped school to speak about the protest’s goals on the steps of Old Main.

“The first one is a green new deal, which I’m sure lots of you have heard about. A lot of people have talked about it. It involves transforming our economy into clean renewable energy by 2030, getting rid of fossil fuels.”

Penn State kinesiology instructor Sue Challis also attended. She said she was disappointed in the turnout.

“It takes 50,000 people to change the minds of policymakers,” Challis said. “In a community of 50,000 people, if everybody is onside, then the politicians can’t argue against us.”

Challis said she doesn’t think she has enough freedom to talk about the issue with her students.

“I think Penn State should be saying ‘Please talk to your students about these important issues,’ not ‘Don’t talk to them because it’s politically incorrect to talk about climate change,’” Challis said. 

The demonstration was one of more than 5,000 climate strikes planned across the world.


Maddie Biertempfel is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact her, email