TCA, administration agree to discuss divestment further

On Friday, April 24, protestors signed an agreement with Executive Vice President Patricia Campbell calling for a meeting on divestment with the Board of Trustees. Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily
After a three-day sit-in, Tufts Climate Action and university administrators reached an agreement regarding divestment from fossil fuels, according to sophomore TCA member Shana Gallagher and Director of Public Relations Kim Thurler. Executive Vice President Patricia Cambell, Gallagher and fellow TCA member, senior Evan Bell, signed the agreement on Friday afternoon.
The agreement calls for an outside expert on divestment to speak with the Sustainability Fund Advisory Committee and for scheduling a meeting with trustees for further discussion with students and administrators about divestment. The agreement states that Board of Trustees Chairman Peter Dolan and trustee Gloria White-Hammond must attend the meeting.
According to the agreement, the meeting must take place before the November Board of Trustees meeting and must be confirmed before May 8, the end of finals period.

As of this weekend, possible disciplinary actions against the sit-in protestors have not been decided yet, Thurler said.

“I understand that whether any disciplinary consequences would be imposed is still to be determined,” Thurler told the Daily in an email.

Dean of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon reiterated previous statements from administrators noting that the students participating in the sit-in were in violation of the Gatherings, Protests, Demonstrations and Disturbances Policy.
While the 2014-2015 Student Handbook states that repercussions for violating this policy include “normal university disciplinary procedures, which may include suspension or expulsion and, when civil or criminal statues are violated, even civil or criminal prosecution, depending on the circumstances,McMahon said the recommended sanction for violating this policy is Probation Level I, as indicated by the Student Judicial Process Sanctioning Guidelines.
“When our office goes through the process of determining if individual students are responsible for a conduct violation … sometimes seniors are placed on Pro I for shorter periods of time than underclassmen would be,” McMahon told the Daily in an email. “I provided this information to the students in Ballou today when I asked them to relocate their protest activity to an appropriate venue.”
According to McMahon, Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students John Barker told students later on Friday that other non-permanent record sanctions — revoking Senior Week privileges or, in more serious cases, participation in Commencement –– are sometimes assigned to seniors who were found responsible for more serious disciplinary charges.