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U. Pennsylvania Students Hold Sit-in for Fossil Fuel Divestment

U. Pennsylvania Students Hold Sit-in for Fossil Fuel Divestment

“responsible for the continued exacerbation of climate change”

Oh look, another group of students is making demands of their school as if they are in charge.

Ecowatch reports:

With Sleeping Bags in Tow, 33 Students Begin Sit In Demanding University Divestment From Fossil Fuels

At 9 a.m. today, 33 students at the University of Pennsylvania entered College Hall, sleeping bags in tow, to sit in with two demands. These demands were:

1. The immediate divestment of the University’s endowment from all companies involved with the extraction of coal and tar sands.

2. The establishment and commencement of a plan for full divestment from all fossil fuel corporations within six months.

The students plan to stay until these demands are met and are prepared to risk potential university disciplinary action.

“The fossil fuel industry is directly responsible for the continued exacerbation of climate change, a crisis that disproportionately harms marginalized people and groups,” Wharton freshman Megan Kyne said. “The University of Pennsylvania’s investment in this financially, logically and morally unsound industry perpetuates practices that endanger all and contradict its own claims of dedication to sustainability and equality.”

After more than two years of Fossil Free Penn’s campaigning, students sit in out of necessity. In response to a 48-page research document detailing the merits of divestment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies, the board of trustees rejected the proposal with a mere 19-word rebuttal in September 2016. Most recently, in response to an open invitation to engage in a public discussion about divestment, the board of trustees refused.


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If they don’t want those stocks I’ll take them.

the board of trustees rejected the proposal with a mere 19-word rebuttal

I think two would have sufficed.

The best way to deal with these students is to let them remain there as long as they can stand it. But students who leave the building should be prevented from returning, and don’t allow any other students (or news media) to go in and encourage them. Tell them the college does not respond to demands, but it will be happy to talk with responsible students, which does not include the trespassers.

While they occupy the building, begin the formal process of expelling them for breaking college rules and criminal trespass. Begin removing their belongings from the dormitories. Also send notices to their parents that they are no longer students, so their loans are coming due. That should encourage them to leave the building, and it should discourage future building occupations. The final decision on whether to expel them can be made on an individual basis, based on how they have treated college personnel and whether they committed any property damage.