Students continue Building 10 demonstration

Student demonstrators associated with Fossil Free Stanford continued their sit-in around Building 10 on the Main Quad for the second day on Tuesday.

About 100 students are rotating through the demonstration in shifts, including some who camped outside the Office of the President and Provost overnight. The students held a rally Monday afternoon as they began their demonstration.

President John Hennessy met with student representatives of Fossil Free Stanford days before their demonstration and has agreed to meet with them again by appointment.

The university and Stanford Department of Public Safety are monitoring the situation to assure safety and security. The university has said that it "respects the right of students to peacefully demonstrate in a way that does not impede university operations."

Participating students have been notified that they are violating university policies about use of the Main Quad, as well as trespassing laws and the Fundamental Standard, which prohibits the disruption of university business. The group has been urged to relocate to White Plaza, the university's free speech zone, where the university has said it will make a special accommodation for the demonstrators to allow for overnight camping.

Faculty members have discretion to determine how to handle missed classes, assignments or exams of demonstrating students.

In conjunction with the demonstration, members of the Stanford faculty are offering teach-ins today through Thursday on subjects ranging from environmental practices to the history of dissent to climate change.

Fliers distributed by the students have indicated they want the university to divest "its endowment completely from the fossil fuel industry and reinvest it more justly." They are demanding action before the United Nations climate negotiations begin in Paris at the end of November.

An earlier request from students resulted in a spring 2014 decision by the Stanford Board of Trustees to divest from coal companies. Of the 20 U.S. universities with the largest endowment investment portfolios, only Stanford and the University of California have taken a divestment action on fossil fuel.

The Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (APIRL), a committee of faculty, staff and students, continues to evaluate the most recent divestment request from Fossil Free Stanford. Questions of investment responsibility are routed through the office of Investment Responsibility and Stakeholder Relations and the APIRL, which report to the President's Office. The APIRL then makes recommendations to the trustee committee on investment responsibility, with final decisions made by the Board of Trustees.