Climate activists stop occupation TU/e

The climate activists who have been occupying Atlas since Monday, December 5 to demand attention for climate justice and transparency will stop their occupation today. They received additional guarantees on top of the statement the Executive Board published on behalf of TU/e earlier, which they deem sufficient for now.

“Let’s make one thing clear: we’re not done yet,” says activist Liz van der Jagt. “But we definitely see this as a victory. We have had a constructive meeting and as a result something that puts us ahead of other universities.”

Monitoring report and more transparent annual financial statement

A monitoring report will provide clarity on the sustainability of research at the university. TU/e Sustainability Ambassador Anna Wieczorek will help draft this report, which is to be published in conjunction with the annual financial statement. And from now on, this statement will be more open about companies paying money to TU/e, says the Executive Board. These companies will fall into three categories, depending on the amount they contribute.

Follow-up meeting

Van der Jagt: “The Executive Board has invited us to a follow-up meeting on 12 April, to discuss the draft of the annual financial statement detailing which companies give money to TU/e as part of contract research. So we’ll be able to see for ourselves if the Executive Board lives up to its promises.”

End Fossil Occupy and University Rebellion say they’re happy with how the protest worked out. When Cursor pays a visit to the occupied room 1.650 in Atlas, they are busy cleaning up: “We started here with eleven students and we brought about some real change. And it was really great to see how many people visited us during the occupation and decided to join our cause.”

Understanding each other's points of view

Robert-Jan Smits, President of the Executive Board, also reacts on the occupation and the ending of it. Smits: “I think the most important thing is that we started talking and listening to each other. This provided an opportunity to hear and understand each other's points of view. Of course, we did not agree on everything, that was clear from the beginning. I think this was also clear to the campaigners from the outset."

Smits is satisfied with the outcome. "It has given the Executive Board the opportunity to present our commitment to combating climate change and promoting sustainability in a clear manner. We have confirmed that as part of this we only want to work with the fossil industry on renewables and sustainability. Offering more transparency is part of that. Incidentally, it was not clear that we gave all the space to this peaceful student protest. However, we have done this to give the activists room to protest and to prevent escalation. It required the consent of the municipality, and I am grateful to our mayor Jeroen Dijsselbloem for granting this. This could not have taken weeks and we also made this clear to the activists fairly quickly. We therefore greatly appreciate that after the constructive discussions they have responded to this by no longer spending the night in the boardroom from Friday, which they left neatly at the end of the occupation."

This afternoon the Executive Board also put a statement online.

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