UofL student group calls on university to cut ties with fossil fuels, LMPD & Aramark

To quote the article by reporter Sarah Ladd:

"A University of Louisville student group is calling on school leadership to cut ties with the Louisville Metro Police Department and to transition campus to renewable energy, among other things. 

Divest U of L also wants to see the university to cut ties with Aramark and implement instead a "self-operated campus dining system that sources directly from local farms and businesses," and to create an Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing to help oversee the University of Louisville Foundation budget.

The group called Aramark, a food service company, "anti-union" with "ties to prisons and detention centers."

"I’m not aware of this group," university spokesman John Karman said, "and I don’t believe its petition has been received by the president’s office."

U of L's Black Student Union previously asked the university to cut ties with LMPD, whose jurisdiction sometimes overlaps with campus police and who, according to the university, sometimes helps investigate incidents on campus. President Neeli Bendapudi called the request to sever ties with the department "an insufficient answer to a very complex problem."

The climate justice requests and the requests regarding police and prisons go hand in hand for the organizers, who said that "we recognize that Black, brown, and Indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change, environmental degradation, resource inequality, economic exploitation and state-facilitated violence."

"Any 'solution' that is put forth to address these crises must prioritize input from Black, brown, and Indigenous communities," the group said.

“Divestment presents a tremendous opportunity for UofL to reimagine our relationship with the greater Louisville community and to reinvest in that relationship,” Divest U of L organizer Grace Engelman, a junior, said in a statement. “The University of Louisville administration needs to put their money where their mouths are, divesting UofL’s endowment from the extractive, exploitative industries that harm our communities and our environment, and reinvesting in the local economy.

"Students are fed up with institutions of higher education being run like businesses instead of people-powered institutions that can drive positive changes in our communities," she said."

Source:UofL student group calls on university to cut ties with LMPD, Aramark (Courier-Journal, Sept. 9, 2020)