FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4th, 2015
For Immediate Release: Earlham students host silent sit-in for fossil fuel divestment
Quaker style silent worship in president’s office draws attention to upcoming committee meeting
RICHMOND, IN – At approximately 2:00 pm on Wednesday, November 4th, the Earlham College Responsible Energy Investment (REInvestment) campaign began an hour long sit-in occupying the president’s office of Earlham College in a Quaker style silent worship. The sit-in is in anticipation of the upcoming November 6th meeting of the Socially Responsible Investments Advisory Committee (SRIAC), calling for a decision about fossil fuel divestment after four years of deliberation on the subject. This demand comes after growing frustrations within the campaign at the length of time the SRIAC is taking to decide on what the REInvestment campaign believes to be a pressing human rights and social justice issue.
The REInvestment Campaign is a coalition of students, faculty, and alumni calling for the school to divest its 405 million dollar endowment from all companies involved in the extraction practices of coal mining, tar sands oil extraction, and natural gas extraction via horizontal fracturing (fracking). Citing rising death rates and community impacts of these forms of fossil fuel extraction, the campaign believes that it is fully within the Quaker values of the school and the letter of the Socially Responsible Investment Policy to remove companies that profit from these types of fossil fuel extraction from the school’s investment portfolio.
Nora Collins, a first year student at the college describes the significance of this action saying, “We are peacefully occupying the president’s office this afternoon with the genuine hope that it will inspire the leaders of this institution to reflect deeply on their Quaker values. It is our belief that these principles call on us to see fossil fuels as the moral outrage that they are and encourage the administration to divest”.
The campaign has also taken to social media, using the hashtags #FourYearsTooLong and #TimeToDecide, in keeping with the argument that the school has been locked in indecision for four years, while the severe impacts of the fossil fuel industry are already being felt by communities with fewer resources to defend themselves against harmful pollution, extreme weather events, and other adverse effects.
The campaign hopes that this bold statement, past alumni actions, and the tireless work done by the campaign to educate and work with the committee and Earlham community will all lead the SRIAC to reach a decision about fossil fuel divestment on their November 6th meeting. For those not on campus, REInvestment members invite all to join in a national call-in day today, November 4th, by calling the Earlham College Alumni office at (765) 983-1313.
The Responsible Energy Investment Campaign is a group of students and alumni at Earlham College to move the college’s endowment funds out of fossil fuel extraction companies and reinvest those funds responsibly. We are holding our universities to a high but achievable standard, one that invests in a clean energy future for the benefit of students and citizens the world over. Learn more at: http://www.earlhamreinvestment.wordpress.com and http://www.facebook.com/EarlhamREInvestment