Mount Allison University: Divest from Fossil Fuels
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To the Board of Regents;
On Monday, March 20, over 30 Mount Allison students set up camp in the academic quadrangle. During the 72-hour campout, Divest MTA engaged in community building activities, engaging hundreds of students, faculty, and community members in a number of events. Find a timeline of the campout on this Storify page: https://storify.com/DivestMTA/divestmta-camp-in
That Wednesday, over 50 students and over 10 professors occupied Centennial Hall, asking that the administration acknowledge its moral responsibility to support divestment at this institution. We have written reports, we have sat through innumerable meetings, we have spent years attempting to create policy and procedure; these channels have failed us. These occupations were organized because four years of inaction and violent silence is too long.
The current political context requires immediate action and institutional leadership. Historically, divestment has been a tactic used to undermine the social licenses of problematic industries and was engaged in by protesters of South African apartheid and of the tobacco industry. Most recently, Laval and York universities have committed to divest. Hundreds of universities, corporations, other institutions and even countries have divested.
Our message over the past four years has been clear: invest in our future, divest from fossil fuels. We will continue to organize until the Board of Regents agrees to our demands.
It is time for this institution to recognize its moral agency and to take this step in considering the implications of its investments on the threat of climate change.
1. Divest now. Beginning immediately, cut all financial ties to the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies over the next five years.
2. Create permanent policy and procedure that renders investment practices collegial and transparent. The Responsible Investment sub-committee has failed in this regard. Explicitly, we are asking that investment decisions be subject to an inclusive democratic process that integrates the concerns of all university constituents.
3. No indigenization without divestment; no divestment without indigenization. We are demanding that the position of the Indigenous Affairs Coordinator be extended indefinitely past the current contract and “Year of Indigenous Knowing”.
With insistence and urgency, in solidarity and compassion with those most marginalized.
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