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Eco-Protesters Force Harvard Dean To Work From Starbucks

Harvard University’s Dean of Student Life, Stephen Lassonde, must be having a tough day. Student protesters rallying against the university’s investments in fossil fuels have blocked the dean’s office , forcing Lassonde to work from a Starbucks.

As #Harvard divest protesters blockade his office, Dean Lassonde says he may eventually go to Starbucks to work. pic.twitter.com/ZTpgOnk2O7

— Noah Delwiche (@ndelwiche) April 14, 2015

Student protesters with Divest Harvard blocked the entrance to University Hall this morning, inconveniencing students and administration officials alike. This is only the second day, however, of a week long protest planned by environmentalists, called “Harvard Heat Week.” On Sunday night, about 150 student activists blockaded the entrance to Harvard’s central administrative building, reports the Harvard Crimson. Another, but much smaller, group of protesters camped out until Monday morning.

They were joined Monday by alumni who occupied the Alumni Association building, demanding the school ditch its investments in fossil fuels. “We’re spending the night in the hopes that you will be willing to meet with us in the morning. We know that many other alumni are trying to join us, indeed two are locked out in the hallway right now by a (very professional) police presence,” the alumni wrote in a letter to the school. “They feel as we do: that if it’s wrong to wreck the planet then it’s wrong for Harvard to profit from that wreckage. And that the Harvard students who have been the brave leaders in the divestment fight so far deserve the support of us Harvard graduates.”

#Divestment Protest Expands at #Harvard, Students Block Entrances to University Hall, Alumni Occupy More Offices… http://t.co/qCZeYs0Cuc — Michael Karkainan (@karkainan) April 14, 2015

 

50+ Harvard alumni take over @HarvardAlumni Association demanding #divestment. #HarvardHeatWeek pic.twitter.com/4DhsVrRDBA

— 350 dot org (@350) April 13, 2015

 

The college divestment movement is the brainchild of the environmental group 350.org — which gained notoriety oppsing the Keystone XL pipeline. But with the pipeline battle winding down, 350.org has been getting involved with campus activism, starting student groups at schools acros the country and lobbying for schools to dives their endowments from fossil fuels.

So far, most schools have rejected calls to divest their endowments from fossil fuels. Not only would it hurt their financial returns, but many have argued it’s not an effective way to fight global warming.

The American Security Project, a D.C.-based left-wing think tank, argued that divestment will “not cause any meaningful financial impact to fossil fuel companies, but could hurt the universities and colleges dependent on fossil fuel share dividends.”

Harvard, itself, rejected calls for divestment in 2013. The university said divestment would hurt their ability to bring in new students and fund school programs.

“I do not believe, nor do my colleagues on the [school’s board], that university divestment from the fossil fuel industry is warranted or wise,” President David Faust said a letter. “The endowment is a resource, not an instrument to impel social or political change.”

Angered by the decision not to divest, 40 students with Divest Harvard recently staged a sit-in in the same building as Faust’s office. The move was heavily criticized by the rest of the student body.

“Disrupting University business is not open debate, it is not free speech, and it is not a productive way to move forward on this desperately critical issue,” reads a Harvard Crimson editorial. “Harvard deserves better, and so does the environment.”

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.



 

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