Delta Kappa Epsilon, or DKE, a fraternity at UC Berkeley, held a “diaper rally” Nov. 26 on Sproul Plaza to protest climate change.
The rally, according to DKE president and campus senior Jordan Shklyar, took a humorous spin on water conservation, urging people to “use diapers, not toilets,” to conserve water. Shkylar emphasized that the rally was meant to stress the urgency of climate change and the community’s job to combat it before it becomes too large of a problem to prevent.
“Our members … wanted it to be different than your average rally,” Shkylar said in an email. “So (they) decided to put a satirical twist on it to add humor while also drawing attention to an important issue.”
Shkylar said despite the perception that those participating in Greek life may not care about climate change or other worldwide problems, the Interfraternity Council, or IFC, has increased advocacy for these issues and hopes to continue advocating for them in the future.
The protest was meant to urge people to start thinking creatively to find ways to address climate change, according to Shkylar.
“Obviously, we are not actually advocating for the use of diapers instead of toilets,” Shkylar said in the email. “The overall message was that whatever the method may be, it is time to start thinking out of the box and even taking extreme measures when finding ways to combat climate change.”
According to Shkylar, DKE currently has no further rallies planned to address the issue of climate change, nor is he aware of other fraternities or sororities on campus that plan to hold protests similar to the one DKE held.
ASUC Senator Milton Zerman said while he did not know much about the protest itself, he called DKE’s efforts part of “Greek life’s civil yet impactful activism” and noted it was encouraging to watch students engage in nonviolent protests.
“DKE fraternity is an outstanding organization that has contributed to Berkeley in a major way over the past few years,” Zerman said in an email. “It’s encouraging to see that fraternity and sorority members of varying political stripes are setting an example for the rest of the school by engaging in peaceful protests to get their message across without violence or agitation.”
Zerman said campus fraternities and sororities are involved in many issues of contemporary importance and added that his own fraternity, Delta Chi, was involved in voter registration prior to the 2018 election cycle.
Zerman added that the ASUC and the United States must address businesses’ and individuals’ ability to make “green” options affordable and convenient.
“Spreading awareness and imposing government regulations won’t fix the problem,” Zerman said in an email. “I know plenty of people who would love to own a Tesla for environmental reasons but will always buy a used Ford at the end of the day for price and convenience reasons.”