Note from the Vassar College Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign: This is the first of a four part blog series written by DivestVC members sitting-in this week in Main building. Today’s post was written by Clare McClellan, class of 2018.
Looking back on the first day of our action outside President Hill’s office in Main building, I am humbled, inspired, and excited by the community we are building in this space around our demands. Today, the Vassar Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign began a sit-in calling on President Hill to endorse fossil fuel divestment and stand with us in calling for action on climate change and climate justice. Though President Hill was not in her office today, she will be back tomorrow and will be meeting with us at 4 pm in the hallway we’re occupying.
We have started building a community in this space of protest; we are reaching President Hill, administrators and the Board of Trustees, the Vassar community, and the world outside campus. Our story received significant media outlets, including an article in the Huffington Post, a live interview on the public radio program Flashpoints, and three other radio interviews. Part of the strength of today came from the consistent presence of students sitting in: at our peak we had over 40 students outside President Hill’s office. We hosted a community sing along, book reading, and strategy meeting. BAM joined us and gave a fun, informal concert for those sitting in.
I am excited for the next few days outside the president’s office. I see this as an important time to spread our narrative and demands, build a dynamic community around these, and call on President Hill and the Board of Trustees to take action regarding our concerns. As I reflect on the day’s successes and great atmosphere, I am also constantly reminded that the issue of fossil fuel divestment is a serious one that has implications on all of our lives, though some more than others.
This is the biggest climate action in Vassar’s history. There are 22 people sleeping here tonight, and we will only grow. That’s exciting! We are ready to advocate for our demands and to rally the Vassar community around them. Please join us! We’d love to have you, in whatever capacity and for however long you are comfortable.