B.C.’s leading art and design university says it will cancel classes on Friday afternoon so that students and staff can participate in the Global Climate Strike.
Emily Carr University president and vice-chancellor Gillian Siddal announced the move Monday, saying campus will remain open, but that classes will be suspended beginning at noon.
“We know that many of you care deeply about this global priority and have taken action in your daily lives,” wrote Siddal.
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“Some of you have created (artwork) that engages with pressing environmental concerns, or have produced research that tackles questions about the future of our planet.”
Vancouver Film School said Tuesday it would also be closing for the climate strike.
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Millions of people participated in student-led climate strikes in cities around the world last Friday, while dozens of cities across Canada and elsewhere in the world will also hold strikes on Friday, Sept. 27, the day Swedish Activist Greta Thunberg is scheduled to be in Montreal.
In Vancouver, a rally and march is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. at City Hall.
Emily Carr is the first major post-secondary institution in Metro Vancouver to cancel classes for the event.
Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia and Langara College have all published statements from their presidents acknowledging the importance of climate change, and noting that students may wish to participate.
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However, all three say classes will remain in session and are encouraging students that wish to participate to speak with their instructors about whether make-up work may be necessary for missed classwork or exams.
“While we recognize the importance of climate justice and the critical need to tackle climate change, it is also important the university remain open to ensure continuance of the academic mission,” wrote UBC president Santa Ono.
Emily Carr’s decision to cancel classes comes after two major B.C.-based businesses, Lush Cosmetics and Mountain Equipment Co-Op said they would shut down Canadian operations and retail locations on Friday to allow staff to participate in the strike.