RISD Students Conclude Divestment Sit-In

May 1, 2013

The President of the Rhode Island School of Design, John Maeda, has his office back.

The eleven students who had been occupying his office for  24 hours have ended their sit-in. The students were trying to encourage RISD to divest from fossil fuel companies, and encourage the president to speak out on the issue. Student Emma Beede was one of the eleven inside the office. She says Maeda told the students it wasn’t politically viable for him to come out with a statement on the issue. While she doesn’t agree, she Beede says it brought the issue of fossil fuels and climate change to the forefront.

“So it was a very good constructive conversation with them," Beede said, "and we came away with a lot that we wouldn’t have achieved without doing the sit-in.”

Beede says Maeda and board members will allow them to present the case for divestment at the Board of Trustees meeting in May.