Students demand that UI divest from fossil fuels


Sydney Laput

Diego Lopez, freshman in LAS, stands within the crowd holding a sign saying “Exxon Mobile Sucks” during the Climate Strike on Friday. The strike was organized by SECS and protesters marched throughout campus from the Alma Mater statue to Green Street.

By Thomas DeMouy, Staff Writer

University students gathered at at Alma Mater on Friday to demand that the University divest from fossil fuels and work towards various climate commitments.

Leah Tritabaugh, freshman in LAS and chairman of the Young Democratic Socialists of America, spoke on behalf of the YDSA during the strike. 

“We’re here today to express our discontent with the University’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels,” Tritabaugh said. 

Tritabaugh has participated in the YDSA’s year-long campaign to encourage the University to divest from fossil fuels more rapidly.

YDSA was one of many registered student organizations that participated in the Earth Day Climate Strike led by Students for Environmental Concerns.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Shallon Malfeo, senior in LAS and President of SECS, spoke at Alma Mater to kick off the rally. She demanded that the University divest fully from fossil fuels by 2025 and achieve full carbon neutrality by 2030.

“Our main campaign has been divestment for the past 10 years,” Malfeo said. “We’ve worked with administration, had strikes. We had today, teachings and educational events, and we do a lot of stuff for Earth Week.”

Malfeo said she was passionate about sustainable agriculture and transitioning to clean energy.

“We’re here near the end of the semester as a culmination of all our actions,” Tritabaugh said. “We’re in the final push this week for the University to divest.”

The group marched down Green Street before returning to Alma Mater.


[email protected]