IU students march for climate change


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — More than 50 Indiana University students, faculty and staff joined Reinvest IU organizers for the March for Climate Action on IU’s campus Thursday, Sept. 17.

With signs, windmills and music in tow, the marchers trekked into Bryan Hall and upstairs to President Michael McRobbie’s office where they read a letter calling for the IU Foundation to divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies within five years.

Divestment means to pull funds from those companies, rather than investing in them.

McRobbie wasn’t in the office, but that didn’t keep members of the core Reinvest IU group from voicing their platform.

“Indiana University cannot claim to be proactively addressing climate change while the IU Foundation investment committee continues to make substantial investments in the fossil fuel corporations responsible for climate change,” organizers read. “Investments that seriously undermine the well-being of our future are morally reprehensible and make a mockery of IU’s commitment to nurturing healthy and flourishing lives.”

The IU Graduate and Professional Student Organization started an initiative in 2013 to raise awareness and gain support for a push to get university leaders to divest funds in fossil fuels.

According to a report created by the GPSO, “Scientists and governments around the world agree: If the world warms more than 2 [degrees Celsius] above pre-industrial levels, comprehensive and drastic change to the way we live, the functioning of our economy, and our quality of life will be unavoidable.”

The report adds that to stay within that temperature level, consumers may safely burn only 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide, but fossil fuel companies own nearly five times that amount.

GPSO wants the university’s foundation to exercise both fiscal and environmental responsibility with the funds it invests, according to the report.

Reinvest IU will meet Thursday, Sept. 24, to plan other events for the semester and continue the campaign against the university’s fossil fuel investments.

For more information, connect with Reinvest IU on Facebook to learn when events are scheduled.