Beginning at 8:50 a.m. Thursday morning, 48 members of Fossil Free Yale — the student group advocating for divestment from fossil fuels — entered Woodbridge Hall and staged a sit-in.

According to FFY Communications Director Chelsea Watson ’17, FFY entered Yale’s central administrative hall to demand that the administration and Yale Corporation publicly reconsider the question of divestment. She said that working through official administrative channels, such as meeting with the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility, has been “completely ineffective” and it was necessary to confront the administration directly.

“We felt the need to demonstrate that we take this issue seriously, we take our future seriously,”  FFY Project Manager Mitch Barrows ’16 said. “If we are willing to take this risk and show that we mean business, maybe the corporation and President Salovey will see that and take this issue more serious.

He described this sit-in as part of the progression of escalation in tactics to pressure the administration to reopen the question of divestment. He added that when the members of FFY first entered Woodbridge, the staff on hand was “a little shell-shocked” but the group has largely been received with respect.

Almost immediately after FFY had entered Woodbridge Hall, President Peter Salovey publicly addressed the group of students gathered outside his office.

Pilar Montalvo, the director of administrative affairs for the President’s Office, said Salovey in his message suggested that FFY stay in touch with the ACIR and work through law school  professor Jonathan Macey, the chair of the committee. She added that when FFY asked to have direct contact with the Corporation’s Committee on Investor Responsibility, Salovey replied that he would “certainly pass along that message.”

“The have been very respectful,” Montalvo said. “When the building closes at 5 p.m., everyone leaves and that’s pretty much it.”

However, Watson said the group’s plan is to stay in the building until FFY has felt it has been heard.

  • tautologyman

    Thank god someone organized a response to the lethargy on the divestment issue. This is exactly what the Yale corporation needs to understand how serious their political and economic choices are to us!

  • Devin JL

    As an alum who attended several Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility meetings, it is important not to fault them. The Advisory Committee got it, the faculty get it, the markets are starting to get it, it is President Salovey and the Board who have been “completely ineffective” in bringing Yale to the modern understanding that future cannot be in fossil fuels. Investing in that future is morally backward, and I applaud students and faculty for making themselves heard. It is disingenuous of Salovey to tell students to work through the ACIR when he shows no intention of listening to the Committee’s advice.

  • theantiyale

    Good for them !

  • ShadrachSmith

    The AGW Theory – 0.04% atmospheric CO2 controls the atmosphere like Sauron’s Ring – has been falsified. The AGW political meme lives on…because Capitalism is the beast they were really after in the first place…and this seems to help.

    It is remarkable how many current Democrat campaign memes require a Game of Thrones level of suspension of disbelief. How many can you name 🙂

  • td2016

    Absolute thuggish stupidity.

  • Guest

    Whole lotta ‘lectric-suckin’ devices in that pic…
    One wonders how many dem kidz utilityze flop-out solar pads…

  • cabet

    Well done, FFY. When even the Rockefellers are divesting from fossil fuels it’s clear that the Corporation is stuck on the wrong side of history. I’m glad somebody is trying to push them into the 21st century – they’re not going to arrive under their own steam.

  • Mary Ann

    No, no, no. These people show no real commitment. What a joke.

    Self immolation by every member of FFY, of course by dousing themselves with an alternative renewable fuel (preferably vegetable based) and employing a solar powered ignition mechanism, would have attracted more attention to their moronic cause.

  • inno

    Great to see the issue getting the prominence it deserves – it wasn’t being mentioned at all on campus just a decade ago – and kudos to the students for trying to push the administration into doing what should be blindingly obvious. Could Yale, for once, lead its peers instead of following them, reluctantly, years later? You have a $24 billion voice, so use it, damn it.