Let's Clear the Air Symposium

Students to lead discussion on air quality awareness

Campus News > Let's Clear the Air Symposium
Let's Clear the Air Symposium

Come together with both environmental leaders and members of the community alike in an attempt to promote environmental advocacy and action in New Jersey.

Kieffer Braisted, Staff Writer

The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership, Kean University Earth Science Club, Kean School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (SESS) and New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability will be hosting Let’s Clear the Air: A Student-Led Symposium Wed., Nov. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the STEM Building 6th Floor to raise awareness and inspire students to take action to improve NJ’s air quality. 

These organizations would like to lead the same diverse group of attendees in demanding legislative action from the state of New Jersey and our nation as a whole. Through the diligent work and advocacy of the presentation, participants will be able to gain first-hand experience in creating legislation and becoming activists for their work. 

"At our environmental forum, students will be given the knowledge to protect their health, their well-being and the future of New Jersey, which is at ground zero for rising tides and storm surges caused by climate change," said Senator Raymond Lesniak, founder and president of The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership.

The forum will highlight a legislative draft looking to help prevent dirty trucks from polluting NJ's air and The Green Amendment, which will aim to protect NJ’s natural resources. 

Moderators running the presentation will be comprised of top environmental leaders in NJ. Said moderators will engage six to eight NJ higher education students and interested members of the community in a discussion on the listed legislative drafts. Participants will be challenged to take ownership of the legislation and its policies and, in turn, propose amendments. 

"We have framed this event in a way that every single participant will have a voice in the discussion," said Sarah Mack, director of The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership. "Every student will leave this event with a clear action plan in place to combat NJ air pollution."

Schedule of Events:

  • 6:15 to 7 p.m. - Dinner will be served alongside a keynote address, given by former NJ Senator Lesniak. He will introduce the two legislative drafts.
  • 7 to 8 p.m. - Participants will engage in small group discussions facilitated by the moderators, discussing one specific legislative draft.
  • 8 to 9 p.m. - A discussion between all participants and moderators will occur to determine the best action plan to clean NJ air. Questions and all input are encouraged. Participants will be challenged to become better advocates for NJ air quality at their universities and within their communities. 

Paige Alonso, director of public relations and social media for The Lesniak Institute, had big praise for the success and importance of the event.

"Bringing together students, community members, educators and environmental leaders is a remarkable experience for everyone involved," Alonso said. "When individuals with different backgrounds and levels of education are able to share their ideas and actually implement them is when true advocacy can start."

The last rendition of the event was inspired by the 2018 Uniting Jersey for The Global Goals Student Summit, which saw over 150 students attend representing 17 NJ colleges and universities in an attempt to come together and discuss the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Those seeking additional information or pertinent questions are encouraged to visit The Lesniak Institute's Facebook page.

about the author

Kieffer Braisted, Staff Writer

Kieffer Braisted is a Staff Writer for The Cougar’s Byte. He joined the staff in March 2018.