PHOTOS: Divest UVic holds ‘live-art’ protest as welcome to new president

Emily Lowan and Emily Thiessen stand by the completed mural. (Photo by Colin Smith)Emily Lowan and Emily Thiessen stand by the completed mural. (Photo by Colin Smith)
A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Photo by Colin Smith)A group of students from Divest UVic held a socially-distanced live-art protest on Wednesday calling for the University of Victoria to divest $400 million in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry. (Photo by Colin Smith)

A group of students from Divest UVic are calling on the university’s new president to take ‘bolder action’ and divest a $400 million endowments in investment funds from the fossil fuel industry.

The group, led by Emily Thiessen, a local artist and recent grad, painted a “welcome message” in front of the Michael Williams Administrative building on Wednesday morning.

The mural is dominated by blue and black, representing the choice the administration is faced with, said Thiessen, “between oil and water, between oil and sustaining life, clean air, clean water and the climate.” Within the blue and black circle, there are painted salmon and windmills, which symbolize “a better world we want to see.”

According to UVic, of the $400 million endowments, approximately four per cent is invested in companies within the energy sector.

READ ALSO: Student protesters blockade UVic administrative building, fight for fossil fuel divestment

Thiessen wants to see a negative screen put in place to assert that fossil fuel companies don’t meet UVic’s standard for ethical investments and then have the money redirected, ideally into renewable technology.

Emily Lowan, organizer of the event, got involved with Divest UVic last year when there were several “very public” student protests. One was held in January when the board of governors voted to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.

READ ALSO: Students protest UVic’s new divestment policy

Lowan calls the policy greenwashing and says it’s incredibly ineffective. She added that the UVic Foundation controls a much larger endowment fund which is not subject to the same policy.

“I just want to emphasize that we cannot continue to waste time and resources on greenwashing policies. We need to come together and find the most effective response to the climate crisis,” said Lowan.

Lowan, along with several other members of Divest UVic, will be meeting with president Kevin Hall on Thursday to discuss the divestment campaign.

Hall said he was interested to hear the group’s views as he shares that passion.

“While I’m new to UVic, I know the institution has world-leading and widely respected research and academic programming related to climate change and environmental stewardship. We also manage our campus operations to high sustainability standards. I look forward to further discussions with our campus community about how we can do more,” he said in a statement.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

University of VictoriaUVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Most Read