By PHONG LY
Drake students gathered around the Olmsted pit to celebrate the end of Earth Week, organized by Drake Environmental Action League, with the annual music celebration Earth Jam. Artists were brought in to sing about the ocean and the earth in a “different and new style with their set” according to sophomore Sonita Van Der Leeuw.
“Although the audiences faded as the evening went on, the artists were still able to captivate everyone who was in attendance,” Van Der Leeuw said.
The environmental science major said she had a wonderful time at the earth-appreciating concert last Friday.
“The weather was beautiful,” Van Der Leeuw said. “Also, it was really nice to see such a big turn out and celebrate the Earth on this campus.”
According to DEAL’s president, Gabriella LeFevre, Earth Jam was the “bookend” to DEALs Earth Week and celebrated DEAL’s accomplishments over the past year.
“We invite all of campus, so they can learn more about the work DEAL does as well as how much fun we are,” LeFevre said.
Earth Week’s theme this year was the prairie. DEAL created different events throughout the week, which helped them inform Drake students more about the world’s fastest disappearing landscapes.
“We even had a trivia game as a component to the evening,” LeFevre said. “Which quizzed the audience on their knowledge of prairies and water.”
For Earth Jam this year, DEAL aimed to have a concert with regional artists of color performing.
“Our Earth Jam Coordinator, Lillian Moravek, oversaw choosing the setlist and the promotional merchandise,” LeFevre said. “While two of our acts dropped out last-minute, we were still able to provide a diverse show in our three remaining acts.”
According to LeFevre, her role as the president of DEAL came with a different set of responsibilities, comparing to when she was the Earth Jam Coordinator two years ago.
“I will say that my role as president brings some different responsibilities in overseeing all of Earth Week,” LeFevre said. “That means I was the first resource when confusion or crisis arose and I got cc’d on all the emails.”
LeFevre said she was pleased with the turnout of the event this year.
“It was the best-attended Earth Jam I’d been to in four years and I fully expect next year to be just as good,” LeFevre said.
The president of DEAL hope that students were at Earth Week’s events and followed the series of programs and events they had throughout the week.
“At the end of the day, our goal was heightened awareness in the student body paired with the hope that only gatherings like Earth Jam can provide,” LeFevre said. “We wanted to incite passion for prairies that triggered conversations at Earth Jam about our seed bookmarks or how they wanted all the grass on campus to be shortgrass prairie instead.”
Sonita Van Der Leeuw also thinks Earth Jam provided her with the opportunity for a getaway from the busy school life.
“It’s something that sometimes as a student I observe and feel on this constantly busy campus, but yet with Earth Jam it was time to just enjoy nature and songs that were promoting sustainable living,” Van Der Leeuw said. “People should come to Earth Jam not just for a break for themselves, but as a friendly reminder to think past our small campus and reflect on the world as a whole.”