The OccupyEUR group, consisting of students, staff and external climate activists, demands that the university cuts ties with fossil fuel companies. They also demand an end to the ‘precarious’ situation of researchers and teachers, an end to student debt and better accessibility to education buildings. In an open letter, they explain their demands and collect signatures.
OccupyEUR stems from an international movement, in which university buildings are occupied to draw attention to climate change. The organisers hope that through this protest, they can get the university to take action. “A while back, cooperation between the Rotterdam School of Management and Shell was officially ceased, but that was clearly for show. There is still plenty of cooperation with the fossil industry in all sorts of ways, this really can’t go on. In internal discussions, the current four requirements emerged as pressing things that need to be changed”, one of the organisers, Psychology student Charlie, said.
OccupyEUR plans to hold speeches, workshops and panel discussions today. EUR security will be present at the entrance of the Sanders building checking student cards, around forty activists will be present around 11am.
It isn’t clear yet how long the occupation will last, but some activists have brought a sleeping mat.
Response Executive Board
In a written response, the Executive Board said it ‘understands’ the group’s motivations. The university ‘share concerns’ about climate and the future. “The university takes its responsibility in that regard and has been actively implementing sustainability in all layers of the organisation for some time, through various initiatives,” said Ed Brinksma, president of the Board. He also said he hopes that classes and research on campus will ‘not be hindered’.