Academics back University fossil fuel divestment

first_img“Not only are fossil fuel companies unethical in terms of their product but also in terms of their methods, and until their corporate power is reigned in and their human rights abuses recognised I cannot see how investment in such companies is an advisable way forward.”It is also feared that by divesting, academic posts and programmes, as well as student support programmes, will suffer due to loss of funding. Gibson however disagreed, explaining, “I would say that fossil fuel companies have a lot more to gain from their partnerships with Oxford than we do; they gain access to brilliant young talent, resources and— importantly — a social license to operate. These companies would not give up these opportunities which keep them alive.” When asked how the campaign could progress, she told Cherwell, “We are looking to expand our student participation and mobilise the student body as a whole to get behind us. “If we can demonstrate to the University that this is an issue which isn’t going to go away any time soon, it greatly increases our credibility and bargaining power.” The University declined to comment. [mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%10589%%[/mm-hide-text] Hundreds of Oxford students, academics and alumni have signed an open letter in an attempt to pressure Oxford University to divest from fossil fuels. Addressed to Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton, the letter urges the University to move towards divesting its £3.8bn endowment from fossil fuels, and is backed by OUSU and twenty seven college common rooms. The letter begins, “As Oxford academics and staff concerned about climate change, we call on our university to divest its endowment from the top 200 companies involved in the exploration, ownership or extraction of fossil fuels. “We believe Oxford should do this for three main reasons: (I) To demonstrate support for its own scholars; (II) To show leadership in a time of unprecedented transition; (III) To honour its fiduciary duties.” The current divestment campaign arrived at Oxford last October, when students introduced the international campaign ‘Fossil Free’ to the University. The campaign follows in the footsteps of other successful divestment campaigns such as the anti-apartheid movement that pressured organisations into divesting from corporations doing business in South Africa. The Oxford University Fossil Free campaign states its goals as being to “Systematically evaluate carbon risk across the entire investment portfolio”, to shift “investments away from high-risk carbon intensive assets and toward low-carbon opportunities”, and to “Remove from its portfolio all direct investments in coal and tar sands oil assets as soon as possible” (in practice, this means to blacklist companies with ten per cent or more of their probable or proven reserves in coal or tar sands extraction). Recently, the campaign has garnered un-precedented support — 100 Oxford academics, 300 alumni and over 2000 students have now signed the open letter urging the University to divest. Campaign signatory Professor J. Doyne Farmer, who is also co-director of Complexity Economics at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, explained, “Science makes it clear that use of fossil fuels needs to stop as soon as possible. It is technologically feasible to replace fossil fuels in a short time if we only resolve to do so. Oxford University should show leadership by divesting from fossil fuel companies and supporting alternatives, and encouraging others to follow.” The Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee (SRIRC) has subsequentlybegun a broad consultation inviting stakeholders within the University to express their views on the issue. The committee met in June, and later this month the committee will convene to discuss the matter, with the expressed goal of drafting a proposal for the University Council.center_img Ellen Gibson, Chair of OUSU Environment and Ethics, told Cherwell, “I am delighted at the huge growth in support for the Fossil Free campaign. “We have been campaigning on divestment for over a year now and it’s great to have such a wealth of support from such diverse sources behind us. I only hope that the University takes this into account in its consultation; its time Oxford listened to the voices telling it to take a leading role in the fight against climate change.” The campaign has not been without its critics; some have highlighted the substantial research that fossil fuel companies do into renewable forms of energy. Gibson responded to this criticism, however, by explaining, “It must be said that, although these companies do some research I’m sure, they also continue to actively explore and research into increasingly risky and damaging fossil fuel sources, as well as lobbying to ensure that regulation can’t prevent them burning existing reserves.last_img read more

School delays and closings for Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

first_img (“31932 2011 Blue Bird 77 Maximum Passenger School Bus” by Bill McChesney, CC BY 2.0) Here is the school delays and closings list for Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021:The following schools are on two-hour delay:CulverEastern PulaskiLakelandKnoxNew PrairieNorth Judson-San PierreOregon DavisPrairie HeightsSouth CentralWest Noble School delays and closings for Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 Google+ WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest Twitter IndianaLocalNews Facebook Twitter By Jon Zimney – February 9, 2021 0 129 Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Previous articleNew transmission line, substation as part of Northern St. Joseph County improvement projectNext articleSecond impeachment trial of former President Trump to begin on Tuesday Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

SDA creates scholarship for LGBTQ+ students

first_imgSDA Dean David Bridel said the cabaret concert is the most fitting way to fundraise for this scholarship because of Billing’s background performing in cabarets. “[This scholarship] sends a clear message that the LGBT community is here and that they matter,” the fundraising website read. “It reaches out to young LGBT Americans searching for artistic expansion.” “I am overwhelmed and profoundly moved by this honor,” Billings wrote in her Instagram post. “As a 56-year-old mixed-race trans woman living with AIDS since the mid-1980s and having survived on the streets of Chicago as a sex worker, a heroin addict and being homeless for almost a year and a half, this sits in a place in my spirit that is truly humbling.” Billings, who has been acting for over 40 years and has performed in live productions and is known for her guest appearances on “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” She also played Davina on the Golden Globe-winning show “Transparent.” According to the SDA website, Billings is also one of the first transgender actresses to play a transgender character on television. She has been recognized with five After Dark Awards and the Rainbow Spirit Award. Transgender actress and pioneer Alexandra Billings will launch a scholarship for LGBTQ+ students applying to the School of Dramatic Arts. Billings joined SDA’s faculty in 2017. (Sasha Urban/Daily Trojan) According to its fundraising website, Billings hopes the scholarship will send a message to the LGBTQ+ community that they belong at USC. Yahm Steinberg, a freshman majoring in theatre who identifies as pansexual, said she believes this scholarship will help queer members of the theater community feel validated. Billings is hosting a fundraising show May 1 at the Bing Theatre called “I’m Still Queer: A TransAmerican Cabaret.” At the time of publication, the scholarship has raised more than $10,000.center_img Actress and assistant professor Alexandra Billings announced on March 13 via Instagram the launch of a scholarship for LGBTQ+ students applying to the School of Dramatic Arts. Samantha Ruzon, a freshman majoring in theatre and political science, said she is worried about students applying to the scholarship who have not yet come out as part of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2018, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation  found that 8.8% of regular television characters identified as LGBTQ+. “That’s the difficult thing,” Ruzon said. “If [the student] gets [the scholarship], they shouldn’t have to advertise that.” “Even if you’re not gay, [you’re] being exposed to stories of people who are,” Kleinberg said. “Gay people are forced to conform to heteronormativity all the time, and I think it’s really cool that [this scholarship] is starting to break that idea [and] celebrate people in [these] communities.” “In addition to being a passionate advocate for the LGBT community, Alexandra Billings is one of the country’s great cabaret performers,” Bridel wrote in an email to the Daily Trojan. “It is especially fitting that [SDA] should choose to present her work in this format, as cabaret has always been a place to give voice to individuals and communities who have a vital message for society.”last_img read more