American University's Fossil Free campaign wrapped up the semester today with an Open People’s Board Meeting just outside the room where our Board of Trustees was considering our divestment proposals and the support we’ve gained over the last few months. After the Board refused to let a representative from our campaign present, Fossil Free decided the best way to get our message across would be to hold this open meeting, allowing for the opportunity for all AU voices to be heard. We had previously been told that a voice through Student Government leadership was our only option f
On the morning of May 8, I joined an action more than one hundred people strong calling on the US Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the Clean Water Act. Dozens of Appalachians had traveled hours to the heart of our nation’s democracy in Washington, DC. They came all the way from the hollers of West Virginia and the mountains of Kentucky. They came seeking justice for their families and communities. They came because their survival and their futures depended on it.
They weren’t there alone. The crowd was composed of allies from DC and up and down the East Coast. It was populated by students calling on their universities to divest from the very industries that harm Appalachia – students from Georgetown University in DC all the way to Middlebury College in VT. “I felt called to take action and come to DC.” said Greta Newbauer, a student divestment activist who traveled all the way from Wisconsin to stand in solidarity with Appalachia Rising "because their fight is my fight - our struggle for justice is the same."
WASHINGTON D.C. — At this morning’s graduation ceremonies for American University’s School of Public Affairs Lisa Jackson, the commencement speaker and former head of the Environmental Protection Agency commended American students for their hard work on their fossil fuel divestment campaign, “I salute this school and it’s students for facing head on the issue of investments in fossil fuels and what that means to your individual futures."
What arose was a powerful collection of voices calling for greater administrative accountability, student access to decision-making structures, and transparency within board business. Students shared stories of being intimidated, silenced, and disempowered in spaces across campus. This student-controlled forum challenged the long-standing power differential within these spaces and provided a platform to elevate a chorus of student voices.
The Environmental Action Club(EAC) at Skidmore College has always been a hotbed for activism and change at the school, a gathering place for the most committed students. For the past 2 years students involved with the Environmental Action Club have tried to shrink Skidmore’s carbon footprint. Several efforts were made to get the President of the College to sign a Campus Climate Commitment that would do just that, reduce the schools carbon footprint.
The sleepy Bowdoin quad awoke to a startling sight this morning. Bowdoin Climate Action had erected a Camp for Climate Justice the night before. We stand in solidarity with the refugees displaced by climate disasters world wide—and we protest our school's investments in the fossil fuels that cause those disasters. Specifically, we protest our administration's refusal to engage productively with us around the divestment issue. We will not be leaving until we get the chance to present to our board of trustees.
We've plastered the College with facts about the atrocities wrought by fossil fuel companies and climate change, as well as chalked the walkways with signs of solidarity. Our president has a nice message saying DIVEST waiting for him as well!
On Earth Day 2013, April 22nd at noon, students from USF Tampa's Student Environmental Association gathered for a Divestment Workshop Teach-In. Kevin Blossfeld of the St. Petersburg USF campus and a journalist of the campus paper, The Oracle, joined the meeting as well. While invitations had been sent to many administrators and offices of the Tampa campus to join them in the president's conference room in the Patel Center for Global Solutions, none attended this meeting.
The 5-college consortium of Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is frequently compared to the cast of Scooby-doo. UMass tends to take on the persona of the lead, Scooby- the loud, kind of weird, hodge-podge of personalities that everyone seems to recognize and who tends to be difficult to generalize. Amherst College, played by Fred, is a bit more proper a bit of a fancy boy.
This has been a huge week of victories for divestment campaigns across the nation! Students are turning up the heat and campaigns are reaching a tipping point as the semester builds toward Board of Trustee meetings in May. They're showing their trustees the powerful bredth and depth of student, faculty, and alumni support for divestment.
Every day our movement has seen new victories as student governments and student bodies nationwide pass resolutions and referendums with overwhelming and at times unanimous support of divestment. As our friends at Responsible Endowments Coalition say - Our Endowment, Our Responsibility, Our POWER!