UMass Divest plans rally outside of Student Union Monday at noon

By Stuart Foster

(Amanda Creegan/ Daily Collegian)
(Amanda Creegan/ Daily Collegian)

The University of Massachusetts Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign will hold a rally outside of the Student Union on Monday at 12 p.m.

Mica Reel, a core team member of the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment, said the organization hopes the Board of Trustees will release a statement committing to take the UMass endowment fund out of the top 200 publically traded fossil fuel companies.

“At this point, this campaign’s been going on for three years and they have not responded with the urgency that the crisis demands they respond with,” said Reel, a sophomore studying anthropology and BDIC.

Reel added that the Board of Trustees should reinvest the endowment money in the UMass community and in sustainable environmental solutions, as well as release a comprehensive reinvestment plan by this June.

Last semester the UMass Foundation, which oversees the UMass System’s endowment systems, announced their divestment from coal companies.

“They divested from coal so we don’t understand why they can’t just divest the rest,” Reel said.

According to Reel, after having meetings with the Board of Trustees, getting more students and faculty involved and having petitions signed for UMass to divest from oil and natural gas endowments, the rally has become necessary to ensure the campaign’s goals are met.

Reel said that the rally would feature speakers from different organizations on campus, including the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, and Varshini Prakash, a recent UMass alumna who coordinated divestment activities at UMass when she was a student.

At a nonviolent direct action training session held by the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign on Sunday, participants went over their legal rights as demonstrators and the importance of nonviolent resistance within demonstrations.

Stuart Foster can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @Stuart_C_Foster.