Dear Tulane Community:
Gibson Hall was more crowded than usual this week as members of the student group Divest Tulane staged a three-day sit-in to demand that Tulane withdraw any endowment investments from the fossil fuel industry.
The sit-in was part of a national day of action by the student-led divestment movement at universities throughout the country, including Harvard, Yale, the University of California-Berkeley and Swarthmore.
The sit-in comes in the midst of an ongoing conversation we have been having with Divest Tulane members about this issue. This conversation has included letters, emails and face-to-face meetings involving Divest Tulane leaders, Board of Tulane members and myself.
I admire the commitment and passion of our students on this and other issues. The Divest Tulane students are respectful, intelligent, thoughtful and engaged – all values the Tulane experience instills. Students who disagree with the divestment movement also share these values.
These opposing perspectives and exchanges are at the heart of intellectual debate and university life. They create new ideas, new paradigms, new opportunities, new challenges, new leaders and, occasionally, crowded hallways.