Letter to the editor: Fitts must listen to concerns of Divest Tulane

To the editor:

The view from Gibson this week is one of student power and change. Students, alumni, faculty and community members sat outside of President Michael Fitts’ office this week because we have not been heard on the issue of fossil fuel divestment. For two years we have worked cooperatively and met with administrators, but our decision-makers have not yet worked with us in a meaningful way. Though these conversations have stagnated, climate change certainly has not. The urgency of the climate crisis demands that we move institutional channels and take action to protect our future.

Throughout this week, the voices of the New Orleans community have filled the hallways of Gibson Hall. We have heard from alumni who feel disappointed in their alma mater in its failure to protect the future of its students. We have heard from well-respected faculty who are aligning their academic work and research with their actions. We have heard from community members passionately working to ensure the future existence of their city. And we have heard from students who are devoted to creating a just world. Our campaign is a powerful leader in the national student movement for fossil fuel divestment.

Fitts can no longer remain neutral. It is time that he chooses between his students and a rogue industry whose business model, if carried out unchecked, will burn five times more carbon than is safe for our planet and the people who live here. So we ask Fitts: whose side are you on? We will be waiting outside of Fitts’ office for his answer. Until he stands on the right side of history, we will continue to demand that he takes action.

Claire Fitch

Member of Divest Tulane