by Mary Schellentrager, Divestment Campaign Coordinator, Energy Action Coalition
Ithaca College students took bold action yesterday, calling on their Board of Trustees to divest its endowment from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy companies. Dozens of students gathered outside of the meeting to communicate their message to the Trustees - Divest Now!
#ICDivest member Allison Currier says she and other students want to show the Board of Trustees that divestment from environmentally irresponsible businesses is the biggest issue facing the institution.
"We want to work with the college," Currier said. "We have shared values. This isn’t at all pointing fingers at anyone, it’s more just showing the board that we’re students representing people from all across campus--students, faculty and staff--and we want our schools to be one of the first in the country to divest from fossil fuels."
Currier says the youth movement is fed up with the system, tired of hitting walls, and divestment from fossil fuels is an issue that strikes at the core of the nation's values.
"If we can come together as a youth movement in college, and if we can move our college’s money, we can really make a huge difference," Currier said. "We can move the money into businesses that need it in order to really flourish. We’re working with people all across the country, and I think real positive change is going to come really fast.”
The campus group Environmental Leadership and Actions Network (ELAN) and their #DivestIC campaign organized the demonstration, which was held outside the Ithaca College Campus Center while the Board met inside.
Twice a year, Ithaca College’s Board of Trustees meets to discuss the vision and future of the institution. It's time for that vision to reflect the mission and values of the school and be driven by input from students and other campus stakeholders.
A group of Cornell University KyotoNOW students, also pushing for Fossil Fuel divestment on their campus in partnership with Ithaca College through New York's Green Umbrella network, attended the rally with signs that read "Solidarity from Cornell."
photo credits: Alyssa Tsuchiya