About 40-50 members of the University of Connecticut’s chapter of Fridays for Future held their second sit-in at Albert Gurdon Gulley Hall Friday afternoon.
The sit-in was held in a conference room near UConn President Thomas Katsouleas’ office. Students sat in the room using their laptops, reading books and chatting.
Harry Zehner, a fifth-semester political science major and Daily Campus opinion editor, said the sit-ins are used as a time to plan for the future.
“We are using the sit-ins as a way to think about how we can move forward,” Zehner said. “We’re reading good books, educating ourselves.”
Zehner said by sitting in the conference room, the group was complying with police demands.
“We are complying with the police. Our group is not trying to get arrested. The police have asked us to move here,” Zenher said. “They had to move a meeting upstairs because we were in here.”
Cameron Cantelmo, a seventh-semester political science and economics double major and Daily Campus staff columnist, said he thinks the group was moved so they could be out of the way.
“They want to put us in an area that we are not inconveniencing them,” Cantelmo said. “But the fact that we are denying them a conference room is to some extent effective civil disobedience.”
The sit-ins are still being held weekly despite an email President Katsouleas recently sent to the university community responding to the group’s demands.
Zehner said Katsouleas’ email mentioned three of the movement’s seven demands — increasing student decision-making power by forming a student working group, divestment from fossil fuel holdings and updating carbon emission reduction goals — but hasn’t explicitly met any of them.
UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in an email that Katsouleas is continuing discussions about environmental issues.
“President Katsouleas has continued his discussions with students who are interested in these critical issues, and [is] working closely with others to establish the centralized working group he referenced in his campus-wide email earlier this month,” Reitz said.
Emily Kaufman, a fifth-semester environmental studies and sociology double major, said Fridays for Future is going to break itself into small committees to use people’s energy in the most productive way possible.
As of Thursday, Fridays for Future has creative, outreach and advertising committees, Kaufman said. The committees plan to improve the demands by taking student input into account.
“We’re trying to use people’s energy in this movement in the most productive way possible,” Kaufman said. “This is a problem that’s going to affect everybody. We want to get everybody involved.”
Olivia Hickey is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.