VICTORIA – University of Victoria students teamed up with local artist Emily Thiessen on Wednesday to create a mural depicting the climate requirements for new university president Kevin Hall.
The group created a mural 14 feet in front of the UVics Michael Williams administration building with the message President Hall, Time to Move.
Students have called for the university to move out of the fossil fuel industry since 2013, when Dive UVC u formua.
Emily Lowan, director of campaigns and community relations for the University of Victoria Student Society (UVSS), says UVic has about $ 400 million invested in the sector and that needs to change.
I think the first step is complete devaluation in all fossil fuel asset classes by 2025, Lowan said.
She adds that the university is dragging its feet on the issue and is lagging behind other major universities, like UBC.
Both the UVic Foundation and the UVik Board of Governors have been extremely slow so far, she said. We need more ambitious climate action immediately.
Lowan is encouraged that things may change now that the university has a new president.
The arrival of President Halls on campus is such an exciting opportunity, she said. He has demonstrated a strong commitment both to reconciliation with indigenous peoples, social issues and a strong climate agenda; and were here to hold him accountable to those promises.
Hall met with the students while they were painting the mural on Wednesday, having a casual conversation with some of them.
A one-on-one meeting with Lowan is scheduled for Thursday to discuss the issue of undressing
He seems very ready for a strong climate agenda, as well as other social priorities, so they were really excited to work with someone who has such a strong understanding and commitment to social and ecological justice, Lowan said.
The University of Victoria said in a news release dated 28 January 2020 which has adopted a responsible investment policy targeting the weakest greenhouse gas producers in all sectors, increases investment in clean technology and encourages low carbon practices for a sustainable future.
At the end of the day, after the rally, UVic issued the following statement to CTV News on behalf of Hall:
Our students, as well as our faculty and staff, are passionate about responding to the climate crisis and want to see us do everything possible to contribute to the solution.
I share that passion. I am interested in hearing their views and having future meetings with student leadership to seek out their perspectives on what is important to them.
While I am new to UVic, I know the institution has leading and widely respected academic research and programs around the world, related to climate change and environmental management. We also manage our campus operations with high standards of sustainability.
I look forward to discussing further with our campus community how we can do more.
Wednesday rally organizers hope the message will encourage stronger action against the climate change that is moving forward.
The role of direct action like this is to encourage a response from the university, Lowan said. This makes them responsible for talking to us further right away.
On Thursday she will have the chance to address her case to the new president.
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