Divest Harvard and Sustainable Education Initiative

I wrote a blog post for Harvard’s Resource Efficiency Program (REP) blog, “There’s a Hole In My Ozone and Other Awkward Problems.” REP is a campus program that educates students about green behaviors. I wrote about Divest Harvard and a Sustainable Education Initiative that I am working on. Check it out!

Guest Post by Chloe Maxmin

Hey everyone! We’re always excited to hear about creative initiatives on campuses. This week, Chloe Maxmin, a student at Harvard, was able to check in with us about a couple cool things going on at Harvard!

Students for a Just and Stable Future, a climate justice on campus, has spearheaded Divest Harvard. Our goal is to pressure Harvard to divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies and reinvest in environmentally and socially responsible funds.
Thirty universities have joined the movement to divest from fossil fuel corporations. Students around the country are asking that their money be invested in funds that do not threaten the future that we want for ourselves and our children. Many schools–including Brandeis, Tufts, BU, UNH, Harvard, Amherst, and more–have already started mobilizing their campuses, and 350.org is officially launching a nation-wide divestment campaign in November. The Harvard campaign is picking up steam as we gather signatures (over 550 so far) and talk with student groups on campus. You can learn more about the national campaign at divestforourfuture.org, and check out what Divest Harvard is up to at Facebook.com/divestharvard.
The Harvard chapter of Students for a Just and Stable Future is the student group that is spearheading the divestment campaign on campus. If you are interested, you can come to our weekly meetings at 9 pm on Wednesdays in the PBHA parlor room to learn more!
Secondly, students on campus are coming together to improve sustainability education for undergraduates. The goal of this project is to create an interdisciplinary and integrative course on sustainability at Harvard College that can then become the centerpiece of a new secondary. Many Harvard students have expressed a desire to study the social and economic dimensions of sustainability in addition to the hard sciences perspective. Students want to be able to participate in a creative, cutting-edge, in-depth, interdisciplinary exploration of sustainability.
Harvard doesn’t offer a general course on sustainability issues even though there are many classes that deal with specialized aspects of the subject, such as food or medicine. Students have created courses in the past: a group developed the curriculum and syllabus for the Human Slavery and Trafficking course taught by Professor Patterson. Ideally the course would satisfy the US and the World Gen Ed requirement and provide an introduction to sustainability issues across many different fields. The course would also grapple with the interdisciplinary and complex relationships between society, economics, and science inherent in sustainability.

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