Around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, students participating in the fossil fuel divestment sit-in outside President John Hennessy’s office were issued a written warning by the University. The letter, which can be read below, mentions legal ramifications but does not constitute a legal dispersal order.
The notice was delivered by Nicole Taylor, associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of community engagement and diversity, and Chris Griffith, associate vice provost and dean of students, who also gave the students a more informal version of the warning Monday night.
The letter informs sit-in participants that they are violating Use of the Main Quad and Memorial Court Policy by participating in “an unscheduled and unsanctioned event.”
The warning also indicates that the actions of the protesters have “prevented the usual conduct of University matters in Building 10, which includes the offices of the President and Provost among others.” According to the University, this is an interference of lawful business, which constitutes the misdemeanor offense of trespassing under California law.
Thus far, sit-in participants have not given indication of complying with the University’s request.
“We currently have no intention of leaving,” said student organizer Michael Peñuelas ’15 M.S.’16. “Fossil Free Stanford stands by our commitment to staying here until our University is willing to meet our demands.”
The letter also suggests a “White Plaza Alternative” and authorizes the sit-in to continue in White Plaza through the conclusion of fall quarter, if operated in “a peaceful and safe manner.” The University declined to comment on a timeline for enforcing the request for protesters to move.
Fossil Free member Josh Lappen ’17 indicated that, if anything, organizers see the movement growing stronger.
“Over the last day our numbers and student commitment have only grown; this should further demonstrate to the University how united campus is on this issue,” Lappen said.
Editor’s note: Ada Throckmorton is an embedded reporter at the sit-in.
Contact Ada Throckmorton at adastat ‘at’ stanford.edu.