University Rebellion gives Executive Board a last chance

University Rebellion issued a final warning to TU/e’s Executive Board. In a long email addressed to the board and Sustainability Ambassador Anna Wieczorek, the action group calls on the Executive Board to declare a state of climate emergency. If the board fails to comply, protest actions will follow.

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photo Rien Boonstoppel

On 19 November 2020, University Rebellion presented Robert-Jan Smits with its manifesto (see main photo), and urged the university to take action on the climate emergency. “We would like to remind you of our meeting on 8 December 2020, during which this demand, among others, was discussed. During that meeting, you expressed an interest in declaring a state of emergency. However, it is almost one year later now, and this still hasn’t happened,” the action group writes. “Universities have an important role to play in this, as an example to governments, students and society in general. In the UK, 37 universities have declared a state of emergency. In the Netherlands however, not one university has taken this step so far. TU/e could become the first university to take a clear stance and to act accordingly.”

University Rebellion seems to have run out of patience: “We would strongly recommend you to declare the climate and ecological emergency with a call for climate and social justice soon. If you fail to do so, we as concerned students and staff members will have no other option but to take action. These protest actions will escalate over time if the university doesn’t acknowledge its role and refuses to take responsibility.” University Rebellion also seems to reject the option of a meeting before it takes action: “Before we decide to once more enter into a dialogue on this issue, we would like the board to take responsibility first, and to take the initiative towards this step”

The university’s spokesperson, Ivo Jongsma, says that “the email only just came in, and it needs to be studied first before the university formulates a response.” 

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