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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

CRIC protest greets trustees at meeting

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Last Thursday, October 22nd, the Board of Trustees Investment Committee met in the Weitz Center to discuss, among other topics, fossil fuel divestment. Just after noon, the committee members emerged from their meeting room to the applause of more than 30 orange-clad students and alumni.

Starting about about 30 minutes prior in the Weitz lobby, Divest Carleton gathered a group of about 30 students and three alumni. Dressed in orange clothing, carrying orange balloons, and toting orange signs in support of fossil fuel divestment, the crowd roamed the Weitz in search of the meeting, ultimately lining the hallway outside room 131, where the committee members talked, peeking out occasionally at the gathering.

The goal of the display was clear from the beginning. “Smile and wave,” instructed Divest Carleton co-president Soren Schlassa ‘18. And when the trustees materialized rather sheepishly, they were greeted only with applause, cheers, and shouts of “divest Carleton!”

Alumnus Brett Smith ‘64, a longtime environmental activist, drove to campus from Minneapolis that morning to attend the event. “This is my niche,” he said. “This is my campaign.”

The committee members had moved upstairs, and the divestment group followed, setting up briefly outside a full Board of Trustees lunch before taking pictures and leaving. Some stragglers and club leadership stayed behind to discuss divestment and strategy for the next day’s event before they, too, had to return to everyday life.

The meeting offered few answers. Over the course of the hour-long event, no student or alumni activists had direct interactions with any members of the committee, and members of the committee offered no comments as they left.

The Carleton Responsible Investment Committee (CRIC), whose report compelled the Board to consider divestment and to whom the Board will likely address its response, expects to hear from the Board within the month.

Divest Carleton, while eagerly awaiting the Board’s response, is focused on the movement. “The event was a great success,” said co-president Schlassa. “There’s a lot more to do, but the excitement we saw for divestment was really heartening.”

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