Blog : University Students Fueled with Fervency on Global Divestment Day

By Corey | Feb 19, 2015 | in

It’s been two years since members of the University of New Hampshire's SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) delivered 1,000 signatures from students and faculty alike to petition against the University’s investment in fossil fuels. The divestment is a call for action to end investment in environmentally dangerous companies and to move the three million dollars the University currently invests in fossil fuels toward renewable energy.

Despite the passionate effort from rallies to letters, all the University offered in return was an addition of an ESG (Environmental Social Governance portfolio. This portfolio allows University donors to contribute money to help companies and organizations invest in sustainability. This attempted compromise has not solved the issue of the University investing money into environmentally damaging companies, and it certainly was not going to stop students from protesting against it.

With students unsatisfied by the University’s solution, SEAC decided to re-launch the discussion on divestment. On Global Divestment Day (Feb. 13), SEAC hosted an event to inform the student body and public about the University’s involvement with fossil fuel companies and the urgency to divest. Three workshops were held in the morning: Investments 101 – focused on how investments work and where UNH can invest in the future, Elevator Pitch – discussing what divestment is, why it matters, and why to care, and Story to Self, an open discussion on why divestment is important on a personal level.

 

Other activities of the event included making signs and posters with reasons why UNH should divest, later to be displayed along the march toward Thompson Hall. Despite the frigid weather being in the single digits participants were heated with their passion for the environment. Students and others gathered their signs and began the march, their chants being heard all throughout Thompson Hall lawn. Approximately 600 signatures were signed in the petition against fossil fuel investment and presented to President Mark Huddleston’s office. The goal was, and is, never to fight against the University, but to work alongside them and build a relationship with the administration. Awaiting the University’s response, UNH’s environmentalists continue to raise awareness of the damage caused by fossil fuels and inspire change to the community.

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