DivestNU carries tube symbolic of pipeline through campus


Students protest Northeastern’s investment in fossil fuel companies on Kretzman in 2017. DivestNU has been advocating for divestment for years. photo by lauren scornavacca

Paxtyn Merten and Lauren Scornavacca

Approximately a dozen students marched down Forsyth Street and around Centennial Common Wednesday to demand that University President Joseph E. Aoun divest the university’s endowment funds from fossil fuels.

Hundreds of students were on the common and many took photos of the group, who marched while holding up a large, black, inflatable tube intended to symbolize a pipeline. The tube sported the words “Aoun—don’t be a Fossil Fool” and “Divest from climate chaos” in white lettering. They also chanted mantras such as “Hey, hey, ho, ho, fossils fuels have got to go,” and “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now.”

The march was the latest in a series of actions by DivestNU, a student organization which aims to get Northeastern University administration to divert the university’s investments from the fossil fuel industry.

“This march is the beginning of our re-entering into the campus discussion on divestment, and restarting the conversation on our goals,” said Meghan McCallister, DivestNU member and a freshman environmental science and political science double major. “This semester we have a lot of people returning on campus from co-op and N.U.in so we think it’s important to re-engage people who weren’t able to engage with us last semester.”

The university does not hold any direct investments in the fossil fuel industry, but much of the school’s endowment is invested in comingled funds, which include some holdings in energy-related companies. Students from DivestNU will be presenting to the faculty senate about divestment at the senate’s meeting Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. in the Raytheon Amphitheater.

Other actions by DivestNU earlier in the academic year included a banner unveiling in conjunction with the national divestment movement’s day of action and a 13-day campout on Centennial Common in early October.

“Northeastern calls itself a leader in being green, yet we are complicit in fossil fuels continuing to be successful and are betting on them continuing to be successful,” McCallister said. “Northeastern should join other universities in divesting to show that it cares more about its students than the fossil fuel companies.”

Photo by Lauren Scornavacca