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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.