In his continuing effort to see student environmental activism develop and expand, sophomore David Karpf will delay his junior year in order to take over as national director of the Sierra Student Coalition.
The SSC, founded in 1991 by the current director of the Sierra Club, Adam Warback, is essentially the student arm of that organization. In addition to educating students on pertinent environmental affairs, the SSC actively campaigns with the Sierra Club on local, state, and national issues.
Karpf, a native of Rockville, Md. became involved with the SSC through an environmental leadership training program that he took part in during high school. "Ever since I can remember I've had a passion for nature. I want to see it protected," Karpf said.
During his senior year in high school Karpf helped to organize a Montgomery county chapter of the SSC and worked with the Sierra Club to successfully defend the Belt Woods, an old growth forest in the Atlantic coastal plains. He took his enthusiasm and activism to Oberlin and, as a first-year, started an SSC chapter which now boasts a membership of over twenty students.
"It's a growing organization and we've done some exciting stuff. Of course we will miss Dave, but we can still do great things," said Becky Johnson, sophomore SSC member.
Later in his first-year Kaprf was named midwest regional coordinator as well as chair of the coalition's executive committee. His work with the SSC at the national level prompted his appointment to director which he will begin this fall.
"The national director is essentially the spokesperson for the organization and runs the day to day business of the program," Kaprf said. "We're going to focus on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge next year."
The SSC consists of about a hundred groups throughout the country and gives students a voice within the environmental activists community. "The SSC is an opportunity to make a difference in the world. It gives students a chance for power. I've seen the differences it can make," Karpf said.
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 24, May 14, 1999
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