University Students for Climate Change: Letter to the Vice Chancellor13 March 2019
This Friday, University of Melbourne students and staff will be standing with school students walking out of class for the School Strike 4 Climate. They struck last November, with participants numbering in the 15,000s. They will be demanding an end to new coal and gas projects, an end to the Adani Coal Mine, an 100% renewables by 2030. Join the Melbourne University contingent here.
The following is a letter written by the University of Melbourne Contingent to the Climate Strike to send to Vice Chancellor Duncan Maskell. The contingent is asking him to endorse the Friday strike and that students not be penalised for participating in the walk-off, after the University of Sydney vice chancellor has agreed to not penalise staff and students for the strike.
To the Vice Chancellor Duncan Maskell,
School students have called another climate walk-off following the success of their action last November. They have called on university students and staff to join them at midday on Friday March 15th, this week.
We call on you to follow the example of many school principals around the country and support the March 15 climate walk-off; and the planned 10:30 student and staff walk-off at UniMelb. We note the fantastic work at the University of Sydney, as Vice Chancellor Michael Spence has agreed not to penalise staff and students that miss classes on Friday 15th. We note that universities across the world, including the Université de Bourgogne in France, have declared closure on Friday 15th to participate in the Global Climate Strike. As someone who shares the vision of a brighter future and a healthier climate, we ask for your support.
We call for this support to be demonstrated by:
i) a public commitment that no student or staff member will be penalised for joining the climate walk-off.
ii) an official email to all staff and students advertising the 10:30am meeting point outside the Sidney Myer Asia Centre.
There is an incredible level of support for the climate walk-off from staff and students. We are less than 2 weeks into semester and a critical mass of Melbourne Uni students have already expressed support. To date, over 200 students have signed on to our support contingent, with as many as fifty students taking part in organising and banner-making activities around campus, and the Presidents of UMSU and the NTEU Melbourne University branch have issued a joint statement calling on the University not to penalise students for striking on Friday 15th.
We are facing a climate emergency. The science shows that we need a rapid transition to renewable energy to stop runaway climate change.
We note the University of Melbourne Sustainability Plan for 2017-2020, endorsed by the Vice Chancellor’s office, includes the statement that “the University of Melbourne has a social responsibility to lead strongly and act decisively in addressing the most pressing of global societal issues challenges”.
We call on you to stand on the right side of history and support the action we are committed taking alongside other uni students, school students and workers. Our action is one of hundreds happening in 51 countries across the globe on March 15. The world is burning and we cannot accept business as usual.
Signed, the Melbourne Uni Contingent to the Climate Strike