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Nearly a dozen students demanded that the University divest from fossil fuel companies in a protest this afternoon.
Before the steps of Woodbridge Hall, several students laid out a black tarp with the words “Yale Students Demand Divestment.” Led by Patrick Cage ’15 and Grace Steig ’16, the group claimed to be unaffiliated with any existing University organization — instead, they said, they were simply concerned members of the Yale community.
“Our goal is to show that the Yale Corporation needs to acknowledge that it does have a political role in its investments,” Cage said. “It’s currently investing in something that causes grave social and environmental harm.”
Steig added that the protesters sought to demonstrate the urgency of divestment from fossil fuel companies and to ensure that Corporation members are reminded of divestment’s importance to the Yale student body.
On the tarp, black liquid was spread over stuffed animals, and fake money was scattered across the ground. Some students were dressed in white overalls while others wore business suits.
“The demonstration is showing the status quo,” Steig said. “[But] we think we can change that.”
Gabe Rissman ’16, a member of Fossil Free Yale, the leading student group advocating divestment, was quick to mention that Fossil Free Yale was not involved with the protest.
The Yale Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility (CCIR) has the final authority to direct the Yale Investments Office on the issue of divestment. Rissman added that the CCIR is committed to continuing the conversation.
“Fossil Free Yale as a group remains totally committed to the internal process that we’ve been taking with the Yale administration,” Rissman said. “We have faith in the Yale Corporation. They seem willing and open to address the issue we’ve brought up.”