Our Story: A Timeline

April 17th, 2019: Fossil Free WashU hosted a rally for divestment and an accompanying march to Brookings to call for university action in light of Harry Seigle’s problematic letter to us.

April 5th, 2019: We disrupted an alumni dinner at Bauer Hall, stating our demands and passing out fliers for the non-donation pledge.

April 1st, 2019: For Valentine’s day we wrote letters to the Board of Trustees about the need for WashU to divest from fossil fuels. In response, Harry Seigle wrote a letter denying the effects of anthropogenic climate change which we published. This sparked an email to be sent by the Campus and Residential Experience Committee to the whole of the student body and this article to be written.

March 1st, 2019: We hosted a rally to show Chancellor-Elect Martin the student support for fossil fuel divestment. Additionally, we published an op-ed.

December 7th, 2018: We rallied outside of the Board of Trustees meeting and made calls to each individual trustee to ensure they heard our message.

November 2nd, 2018: We launched a non-donation pledge for parents and alumni just in time for parents weekend on campus. This pledge is meant to give WashU more of a direct financial incentive to divest, as it relies on these groups for funding.

September 29th, 2018: WashU hosted a day of reflections of climate, at which Fossil Free met Michael Brune, the Executive director of the Sierra Club. This op-ed was published in conjunction with the event.

April 16th, 2018: After a protest during an alumni event, Chancellor Wrighton declared that he would ask the Washington University Investment Management Company to review the policy regarding “not [using] the investment of the endowment to achieve social or political agendas.”

March 30th, 2018: We hosted a rally for divestment in honor of Earth Day.

March 28th, 2018: Fossil Free WashU, led by Georgia de la Garza of Shawnee Hills and Hollers, visited coal mines around Southern Illinois. We were fortunate to be able to interview Barney Bush, CEO of the Vinyard Indian Settlement, about how coal mining has impacted his community.

March 26th, 2018: We made progress towards a transparency committee being formed and had two student life articles written about our efforts.

February 14th, 2018: Joined WUGWU (the WashU Graduate Workers Union) for a Valentines Day rally, delivering themed letters to Provost Holden Thorp’s office.

November 15th, 2017: We hosted a Climate Action Fair as part of a national day of action, and joined the Sunrise Movement in creating our own time capsule to be stored in the University Archives until 2067.

October 20th, 2017: We had another meeting with Chancellor Wrighton, in which we were given a verbal commitment to endowment transparency.

August 24th, 2017: We collaborated with a group of WashU alumni who provided context for the earlier history of social movements at WashU in this op-ed.

Summer 2017: We publicly requested that WashU add its name to the We Are Still In letter in support of the Paris Agreement, which they did shortly thereafter.

April 22, 2017: Chancellor Wrighton officially announced that WashU would not divest for any reason. Read our statement about it.

Earth Week 2017 (April 17th-April 21st): We engaged in small actions around WashU’s campus to promote awareness of our campaign.

April 14, 2017: We had our second meeting to discuss divestment with Chancellor Wrighton. Read our op-ed about it.

March 24, 2017: We hosted a teach-in on environmental justice with guest speakers to educate members of the university community about the issues we are fighting for.

March 3, 2017: We released a faculty petition that has garnered the support of nearly 100 WashU faculty members to date.

February 9, 2017: We had our first meeting with Chancellor Wrighton since the relaunch of the campaign. Read our statement about it.

February 7, 2017: A group of WashU alumni released a letter outlining a vision for a need-blind policy, increased socioeconomic diversity on campus, fossil free & private prison divestment.

Spring 2017: We relaunched our campaign with the release of a student petition that has garnered over 1200 signatures so far.