UO Divest Campaign protests University of Oregon Foundation investments in fossil fuels

Friday marked the 19th day of the UO Divest Campaign’s protest. Photo by Ellen Meny

EUGENE, Ore. - University of Oregon students held a sit-in Friday, trying to convince the UO to drop its investments in fossil fuels.

Friday marked the 19th day of the UO Divest Campaign's protest. The students set up their post in front of Johnson hall with the hopes of convincing the University of Oregon Foundation to change some of their investment policies.

The University of Oregon Foundation is a non-profit corporation that manages private gifts for the university.

The UO Divest members say their goal is to convince President Schill to support the removal of University of Oregon Foundation investments in fossil fuels.

The university reports the foundation has invested less than one percent of its funds in fossil fuel companies. But students say no matter how small the amount; the action doesn't reflect the environmental ideals of the university.

"It's important for the university administration and the university foundation to lead by example and to make a moral statement against fossil fuels and the structure that relies so heavily on them," said Kaia Hazard from the UO Divest Campaign.

Schill wrote a letter to the students saying while he supports their concerns about climate change; he says no university employee, including the president, can tell the foundation what or what not to invest in.

Still, the students say they're planning to sit in Johnson Hall until divestment is a reality. The students sit in Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The university would discipline them if they remained after hours or on the weekends.

The students said they plan to meet with President Schill the last week of March to discuss the issues.

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