Homecoming weekend at Earlham (October 24-26) was a busy time for REInvestment. In the week leading up to Homecoming, we tabled every day during lunchtime in the Runyan Center. Our display involved two tables: one detailed Earlham’s investments in dirty energy, with information about coal mining, fracking, and tar sands. The other had information about our divestment ask, some upcoming events, and our goals to reinvest in clean energy. We also collected petition signatures and gave out free stickers and orange squares. Visitors could follow a line of yellow arrows from one table to the other – and move some “endowment dollars” away from dirty energy.
During the weekend, we collaborated with other clubs on campus to host a great event! We co-organized a social justice rally on the Heart and invited other groups on campus that are involved with social activism, including the BDS campaign, Spectrum club, and others who also involved in last year’s Social Justice Carnival. It was a fun event that showcased some of the great causes supported by Earlham students. It was a positive rally and a great success!
Over the course of the weekend, we were able to reach out to and connect with alumni who were visiting campus. We were able to have conversations with many alums who walked through Runyan and the Heart while we were there, and REInvestment members also went to various college-sponsored Homecoming events to talk with interested alums. We hoped to increase awareness about the campaign, build support from members of the Earlham community who were not currently on campus, and maybe even recruit some new members for the REI Alumni Council. Overall, we were blown away by how enthusiastic alumni were about the work we are doing on campus. Thank you to everyone who stopped to chat with us over the course of the weekend!
NOTE: A number of alums we talked to during the rally raised concerns about something that happened at President David Dawsons’ State of the College address. Particular comments from David Dawson left folks with the impression that REInvestment was not as active as it had been. As a result of these conversations, we reached out to David and asked to meet with him. It was good to be able to communicate clearly with our college president about the work we’ve been doing on campus. He was happy to meet with us and, although his position as college president prevents him from taking a stance on our ask, he was generally very supportive of the conversations we have been having with SRIAC. This was an unexpected development to come out of Homecoming weekend, but we are grateful to the alums who brought this to our attention and prompted us to revisit our communication with David Dawson.
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