UB students rally to demand divestment

Dozens of University at Buffalo students rallied Thursday, calling for the university’s foundation to divest from fossil fuels. UB has positioned itself as a leader on green initiatives, even as the private and technically separate UB foundation has invested in funds that back fracking companies, according to documents leaked as part of the Paradise Papers, Investigative Post reported last year. 

The Fossil Free UB campaign, which organized the protest, has earned support from the representative bodies for both both the faculty and professional staff, as well as student government. In response to the divestment campaign, the foundation has said it is “actively looking” at its investment policies. But student campaigners say that’s not enough. They want more transparency about the foundation’s investments and for students to have a say in how it does business. 

In the meantime, Fossil Free UB is asking fellow students to pledge not to donate to the foundation until there’s more action on divestment.

“We want to support this university but we don’t want to support those industries,” said sophomore Alexa Ringer, one of the protest’s organizers. “We’re not just talking: we demand action and we’re not going to go away.”