Note from the Vassar College Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign: This is the second post of a four part blog series written by DivestVC members sitting-in this week in Main building. Today’s post was written by Sophie Cash, class of 2019.
Even though it’s been over 24 hours, with planning and media communication and human organizing non-stop, moods here outside of the president’s office have been running high all day. About twenty people slept in last night, lining the halls with sleeping-bagged activists who greeted administrators to arrive for work.
While the show of student activist organization has been impressive, though, what has astounded me most is the generosity and kindness that has surrounded this ground-breaking action. We woke up this morning to the Secretary of the Dean of Studies offering us tea. An alum and staff member in the Alumnae/i Office came by to offer her verbal support and donated the money for dinner. When we called in for La Cabañita take-out, they offered to throw in free fajitas for the cause. Three professors donated their time by bringing their classes to the space, and the Unitarian Universalist (UU) group shared their community space by holding meeting here, and inviting everyone to a sing-a-long. Alums have given time, letters, money, and resources to support us and pressure the administration, and even a couple community members and faculty showed up to the meeting with President Hill this afternoon to voice their thoughts. And students, cumulatively, have given an overwhelming amount of their time to show the president how passionate we are about this critical issue.
Though it would be easy to get bogged down in how much there is to do — contact media, follow-up with the press who has covered us, tweet, post continuously on social media, figure out food, organize the programmed schedule and ensure classes have the proper materials, breathe — spirits have been relentlessly high. Sing-a-longs and background guitar-playing have entertained us, card games, and good news from the media and supportive alums have buoyed flagging moods. And the community is unceasingly welcoming, a “Community Liaison” ensuring conversation and actions stay respectful, a “New-Person Wrangler” enthusiastically invites newcomers in, and a growing list (over 90 people!) at the front reminds us just how many student supporters this campaign has.
Stuffed with Mexican food donated by a supportive alum, and hopeful attitudes for the days to come, we are prepared to stay the long haul. We will continue calling on our college president to represent us, as so many other fossil fuel divestment campaigns and other social justice movements in the nation are doing.