Vanderbilt students assembled at The Kirkland Administrative Building on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long) (Hunter Long)
Vanderbilt students assembled at The Kirkland Administrative Building on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long)

Hunter Long

IN PHOTOS: 30 students, 14-foot unicorn march on Kirkland for divestment

The movement calling for Vanderbilt to divest from fossil fuels was started last semester by Dores Divest, an unofficial student organization, and DivestVU, an official undergraduate student organization.

February 26, 2021

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, 30+ Vanderbilt students from student organizations DivestVU and Dores Divest marched from Library Lawn to Kirkland Hall, carrying signs, a loudspeaker and a 14-foot tall unicorn named “Danny.”

Vanderbilt students assemble on Library Lawn on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2021 (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long) (Hunter Long)

The movement calling for Vanderbilt to divest from fossil fuels was started last semester by Dores Divest, an unofficial student organization, and DivestVU, an official undergraduate student organization.

14-foot Unicorn

As was mentioned in the email to students from “Handsome Ron,” the unicorn made its way from Library Lawn to the front of Kirkland along with the protestors.

Students bring the 14-foot tall mystical creature from Library Lawn to Kirkland Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little) (Emery Little)

The unicorn’s front read “Kirkland or bust,” its sides read the words “Divest Fossil Fuels” and its rear read “-0.1% endow return.” The rear references the university’s 2020 Financial Report, which outlined the loss of 0.1 percent on its endowment return.

Marching Towards Kirkland

After assembling on Library Lawn, the students then marched towards Kirkland Hall to voice their opinions in front of Vanderbilt’s administration. There were multiple speakers present for the crows including those both from DivestVU and Vandy Divest as well as members from Vanderbilt Student Government

Organizing in the age of COVID

In order, the speakers were DivestVU co-founder Emily Irigoyen, Hidden Dores Senior Advisor Ember Tharpe, Dores Divest undergraduate president Ben Hayden, GSC representative Miguel Moravec, DivestVU executive board member Hannah Bruns, ISO representatives Gabby Guarna and Anna Fonongava’inga and VSG Vice President Shun Ahmed.

Hannah Bruns speaks at the protest at the Kirkland Administrative Building on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little) (Emery Little)

In the age of COVID, the organizers of the protest worked specifically with Dean of Students Mark Bandas and others to ensure that all the regulations placed on students were met and everything was up to code. For the organizers, it was important that everyone felt safe and to receive approval from Vanderbilt.

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