QBACC heading back to Board of Trustees with more student support

Advocacy group will push for divestment vote before end of winter term

Lorraway said QBACC will pitch divestment before end of winter term.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

On Sept. 27, Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) representatives presented the Board of Trustees with a list of demands to address the climate crisis on campus. Two months later, little headway has been made.

While QBACC has been gathering support for their advocacy efforts across multiple student societies and faculties, the administration’s response has been limited.

“There’s been no direct response, but we’ve been working with [the University] to see where we frame this, where we land on this,” Nick Lorraway (ArtSci ’20), QBACC president, said in an interview with The Journal.

In September, QBACC asked Queen’s to develop its own definitions and criteria for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing. According to Lorraway, Principal Patrick Deane wants to see where the University’s priorities lie through his Conversation meetings, a series of open forums that will inform Queen’s next strategic framework.

“He'll be able to translate that into ESG principles,” Lorraway said.

He added QBACC hasn’t heard anything about mandatory Indigenous sensitivity training, another demand the group posed to the Board in September.

“I don’t think Queen’s is going to go in that direction,” Lorraway said. “As much as I want to say we're going to go to the board in December and get divestment, we're going to say, ‘you divest now, we have all this strength,’ that's not what it's about.”

“It's not about moving forward quickly. It's about moving forward.”

QBACC is set to head back to the Board of Trustees at its December meeting, where Lorraway said the group will present the University with the support it’s garnered since its September appearance.

“What we're going for in December is, let's keep this conversation moving forward. Let's show how much more support we've gotten now than we did in September so we can continue to show the trajectory,” he said.

Recently, QBACC received divestment endorsements from the Queen’s Law Students’ Society, the Faculty of Law, and the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Society. Lorraway said the SGPS will be voting next month.

“We’re still here and we’re getting stronger,” he said.

In a written statement to The Journal, Lorraway said that in a Thursday meeting, Principal Patrick Deane advised QBACC not to “do everything all at once.”

“We’re going to show where we are, push for more action officially on the past requests, and let them know we’ll be going for this officially in the near future,” Lorraway wrote.

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