Letters to the Editor

Divest SU responds to university limiting fossil fuel investments

Since October 2012, Divest SU has been part of a global movement of universities and organizations that are connecting the dots between climate change and the fossil fuel industry. The practices of the fossil fuel industry are inconsistent with the future welfare of the planet, and we are pleased to see SU formally recognize this through their recent announcement.

Syracuse University did not have direct investments in fossil fuels. On Tuesday, SU administration made this a formal prohibition. However, they do have substantial investments in fossil fuels through external fund managers. We are waiting for specifics from SU administration on how they will direct those external managers to minimize investment, and we will continue to ask that SU fully divest from the fossil fuel industry.

Nonetheless, this is a win for the campaign. We want to thank all the students and faculty who have participated. We have held hundreds of meetings, dozens of events and passed resolutions through both the University Senate and the Student Association. We especially want to thank all the organizers and participants in THE General Body.

Our work is far from over, and not just for fossil fuel divestment, which is a climate justice and social justice issue. Over the past year especially, we have been connecting the dots between global warming, racism, sexism and economic inequality. As Van Jones made clear in his remarks at the Syracuse University lecture series last fall, poor people and people of color around the world are hit “first and worst” by climate change. At Divest Fest this February, a student organizer from Harvard made connections between climate change and women’s rights — the burdens of climate change fall heavily on women across the globe.

We want to continue to connect these dots on campus. While we are happy that university administration will prohibit some fossil fuel investments, we would like to see them investing in Posse and Paris Noir. We want them investing in a new advocacy center, additional psychiatrists and counselors, and a living wage for TAs. We want them to invest in the safety of SU Law students. And we want them to divest from the corporate ideology central to Fast Forward Syracuse. Partial fossil fuel divestment is a first step down a long road toward social justice on this campus, one that we will continue to walk. We ask that the SU administration continues with us.

Ben Kuebrich, PhD Student, Composition and Cultural Rhetoric
Christine Edgeworth, Geography, ’15
Emma Edwards, Geography and Policy Studies, ’15
Colton Jones, Psychology and Food studies, ’15
Elizabeth Kahn, Advertising and Environment & Society, ’15
Jonathan Schmidt, Geography and Political Science, ’18
Henry Nelson, Geography and Citizenship & Civic Engagement, ’18
Quinn Weber, Political Science and English & Textual Studies, ’15
Shaye Weldon, Geography, ‘15
Ella Mendonsa, Political Science and Public Policy, ’15
Hasmik Djoulakian, CCE and WGS, ‘17

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