Students Across the Country Protest University Investments in Fossil Fuels

April is Earth Month, and students are rallying to save the planet. For the past several weeks, the role universities play in funding fossil fuel emissions has been a hot topic at colleges across the country, The Huffington Post reports.


Students are calling for university divestment, meaning sale, of holdings in companies that work in oil, gas and coal, industries that they believe are directly contributing to the destruction of the environment.

"Our school must own up to its moral obligation to take a stand against climate change," Columbia University student Cristian Padilla told CNNMoney.

At universities across the U.S., including Bowdoin College, Columbia, NYU, Harvard, UMass Amherst and more, students are staging sit-ins in campus libraries, government buildings (check out what Harvard students did outside the Boston Federal Reserve) and even the offices of university officials.

CNNMoney reported that students at Columbia were "[sleeping] on chairs, [eating] from takeout boxes and [trying] to keep clean with water and paper towels from the bathroom." Nineteen students at Harvard and UMass Amherst were arrested during their divestment protests, respectively, Boston.com and Mass Live reported at the beginning of April.

The students have the full backing of democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, who Tweeted his support last week.


Ultimately the students hope gain their university's attention and stop the spending of schools' endowments on fossil fuel companies, by showing how their investments affect the environment.