Widgets Magazine

University issues notice requesting protesters to leave Main Quad

(RAGHAV MEHROTRA/The Stanford Daily)

(RAGHAV MEHROTRA/The Stanford Daily)

Around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, students participating in the fossil fuel divestment sit-in outside President John Hennessy’s office were issued a written warning by the University. The letter, which can be read below, mentions legal ramifications but does not constitute a legal dispersal order.

The notice was delivered by Nicole Taylor, associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of community engagement and diversity, and Chris Griffith, associate vice provost and dean of students, who also gave the students a more informal version of the warning Monday night.

The letter informs sit-in participants that they are violating Use of the Main Quad and Memorial Court Policy by participating in “an unscheduled and unsanctioned event.”

The warning also indicates that the actions of the protesters have “prevented the usual conduct of University matters in Building 10, which includes the offices of the President and Provost among others.” According to the University, this is an interference of lawful business, which constitutes the misdemeanor offense of trespassing under California law.

Thus far, sit-in participants have not given indication of complying with the University’s request.

“We currently have no intention of leaving,” said student organizer Michael Peñuelas ’15 M.S.’16. “Fossil Free Stanford stands by our commitment to staying here until our University is willing to meet our demands.”

The letter also suggests a “White Plaza Alternative” and authorizes the sit-in to continue in White Plaza through the conclusion of fall quarter, if operated in “a peaceful and safe manner.” The University declined to comment on a timeline for enforcing the request for protesters to move.

Fossil Free member Josh Lappen ’17 indicated that, if anything, organizers see the movement growing stronger.

“Over the last day our numbers and student commitment have only grown; this should further demonstrate to the University how united campus is on this issue,” Lappen said.


Editor’s note: Ada Throckmorton is an embedded reporter at the sit-in. 

Contact Ada Throckmorton at adastat ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Official Notice from Stanford University

About Ada Statler

Ada Statler '18 is an earth systems major hailing from Kansas City (on the Kansas side, not Missouri). She's most passionate about environmental journalism, but cares about all things campus-related.
  • Stanford Steelie

    Keep it up Fossil-Free Stanford! You are inspiring thousands of students and other allies in the fight for climate sustainability and moral leadership by universities. Stanford can and should get its investments in order, particularly if it plans to continue promoting itself as a leading “sustainable” institution. (An aside: SU should also take MUCH stronger action regarding local watershed stewardship and the future of Searsville Dam, even if student activists aren’t currently engaged with this issue.) Stay strong– you are right and eventually you will win. Let Stanford slap you with trespass charges on your own campus if that’s what they choose, and then have a media blitz about this uber-rich university profiting from fossil fuel-related activities that are currently killing the Earth and its ecosystems, while stifling and criminalizing students who are fighting for a livable world in the future. #Solidarity!

  • Andrew T Aude

    Why does the letter not carry any signatures of the Stanford administrators who issued it?
    Was it the Provost? Hennessy himself? SAL? Office of the General Counsel?

    Considering that there is a sizable free pathway to both entrances, how are Building 10’s business activities truly disrupted? It seems like people could freely go in and out…

    It seems the President is playing the “avoid confrontation at all costs” card– so far as to issue vague threads of disciplinary and legal action.

  • Caleb Smith

    Nice reporting Ada!

  • rick131

    Free speech is not allowed at Stanford. Everything must be censored by the administration.