Students and members of the anti-fossil fuel group called Mountain Justice held an office sit-in protest inside Chief Investment Officer Mark C. Amstutz’s office against the school’s investments in fossil fuels.
Five of the students were cited for their refusal to vacate the premises, which the students believes any punishment is against the school values.
Swarthmore President Valerie Smith said in a statement that, while the school has “proud tradition” of free expression, the activists prevented Amstutz “from completing all but the most menial of tasks and restricting his movements and rights.”
Will Marchese, one of the five students cited, griped that even a warning would be “against college values.” He said the occupiers didn’t do anything “inappropriate,” and “actually helped Amstutz shred documents.”
The students involved in the protest did indeed violate the student code of conduct, therefore their acts of disobedience were warranted.
Mountain Justice has a history at the college; in 2013 with the topic being fossil fuel investment and the school’s $1.5 billion endowment, the group “disrupted a board of Managers meeting, seized control, and shouted down others.”