Earlier this month, international environmentalist gem Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. sparkled on campus in a sold out speech as part of Western’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
Kennedy spoke to a jam-packed Carver Gym crowd on some of the current environmental issues that he has encountered as a prominent environmental lawyer.
As a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Kennedy spent decades fighting in the name of pollution prevention. Kennedy also beefed up his environmental resume serving as chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and a clinical professor and supervising attorney for the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University Law School. Kennedy is also the author of Crimes Against Nature and co-author of The Riverkeepers.
In the environmentally-active community of Bellingham, it is unsurprising that Kennedy’s speech sold out. A stand-by line was formed, and ticket holders who did not show up ten minutes before the speech had their seats given away to those waiting in line. Some students and community members were left in the cold despite Western’s best attempts to seat everyone in the stand-by line, however.
Both dejected non-speech-attendees and Kennedy enthusiasts alike can take heart in the re-airing of Kennedy’s Western lecture throughout the rest of the month of May.
Bellingham Television channel 10, or BTV 10, will air Kennedy’s speech on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 8:30 p.m.
BTV 10 is operated by the city of Bellingham and broadcasts educational and governmental programs. You’ve probably already unknowingly flipped by a Bellingham City Council or Whatcom County Council meeting, which is largely what the channel airs. Along with these meetings, BTV 10 shows programs produced and sponsored by or for government, education, or public agencies, like Kennedy’s speech.
Philip Ashlock, a second-year student at Western, originally wanted to see the speech, but missed his chance.
“I didn’t embrace the opportunity to pick up a ticket when they were first available, and I found out soon after that they were sold out,” Ashlock lamented.
Ashlock said that he walked by Carver Gym on the day of the event, but was discouraged by the long stand-by line. He also felt the burdens of being a full-time student. “I also had lots of homework,” Ashlock said. In keeping with the spirit of the event and to honor the work that Kennedy was doing, Ashlock said, “I walked home.”
When Ashlock found out about the renewed opportunity to see the speech via BTV, he said that he would be interested in watching it, just as he was interested in attending the event originally.
Unfortunately for Ashlock, he “[doesn’t] have a TV, and [doesn’t] believe in the television philosophy.” For the 20,000 homes which BTV does reach, however, this won’t be a problem.
Unperturbed by another missed opportunity to hear Kennedy’s message, Ashlock said, “I might read his book.”