Indiana Daily Student

Sunrise Bloomington holds rally to pressure IU Foundation to divest from fossil fuels

<p>Mallika Khanna, a PhD student in the Media School, speaks at a rally held by Sunrise Bloomington on Feb. 8, 2022, in front of the Harlos House on Tenth Street. Khanna said her parents had recently been forced to move away from their home in Delhi, India, because of the levels of air pollution&quot;But climate change is not just an &#x27;over there&#x27; problem,&quot; she said.</p>

Mallika Khanna, a PhD student in the Media School, speaks at a rally held by Sunrise Bloomington on Feb. 8, 2022, in front of the Harlos House on Tenth Street. Khanna said her parents had recently been forced to move away from their home in Delhi, India, because of the levels of air pollution"But climate change is not just an 'over there' problem," she said.

Sunrise Bloomington, a local climate action organization, held a protest Tuesday to call on the IU Foundation to divest from fossil fuel companies. 

Divestment is defined as disclosing current investments in the fossil fuel industry, removing those investments, and reinvesting that money into companies that encourage sustainability and protection of the environment, according to a petition created by Sunrise Bloomington. 

The event took place on the lawn of the Harlos House, where the IU Foundation often meets on campus. 

Around 140 students, both from IU and local high schools, attended the rally, as well as faculty, staff and other members of the Bloomington community, Sunrise Bloomington member Sanjana Agarwal said.

Demonstrators carried signs that had phrases such as “IU CO2 burns your future” and “Where is IU’s climate action plan?” 

“We are tired of the IU Foundation refusing to discuss divestment with us,” member Joleena Mundy said. 

In the fall 2021 semester, the IU Foundation pulled out of a planned meeting with Sunrise to discuss divestment, according to IndyStar.

The rally came just one day before representatives from IU Student Government, Sunrise Bloomington and Students for a New Green World were scheduled to meet with IU President Pamela Whitten about IU’s plans to address climate change. 

“IU is letting its students down by not having a solid climate action plan,” said IU senior Abbey Krulik. “We would like to have a future on this planet.” 

Many other schools in the Big Ten conference have already made commitments to stop climate change, including Illinois, Nebraska and Michigan

“Divestment is an important step in addressing the fundamental, unavoidable climate change challenges that the IU Foundation must face,” said Isak Nti Asare, Democratic Candidate for Indiana’s 9th District. 

A group of students from Bloomington High School South walked out of their classes to join the rally. 

“We are tired of hearing that nothing can be done, we don’t buy it,” Bloomington South student Alex Kutza said. 

There have been calls for IU to divest from fossil fuel companies, dating back to at least 2015 with the group Reinvest IU. 

“They failed to meet these demands and have still made investment choices that jeopardize our future, we won’t stand for it,” Kutza said.

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Daily Rundown.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student