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.”
“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.