An interview with Sophia Christel (Class of 2015, M.S. '16) on the evening of November 18, 2020 at the Fossil Free Stanford encampment.
Q: What is life in the camp like?
A: The atmosphere is really relaxed and positive. Morale is good. We have pretty impressive numbers; I was not expecting this many people to come out—and to stay.
People are sitting around doing homework, or doing their own thing. There are options for people to still feel productive, such as the teach-ins. We’re not just sitting around, not going to class—something that would be especially stressful for [workaholic] Stanford students! So it’s great when classes come to us.
Q: What kinds of classes did you take part in?
A: Professors and lecturers have been flexible and great about doing it. I was able to attend one class, Defining Smart Cities, which was broadcast via computer video feed. Another multimedia environmental communication class relocated here [to the Main Quad.]
Sometimes it can still be hard, because not everyone on campus agrees with our message or our action. So some professors might not move the class ‘as is’ but instead offer an optional special lecture for anyone who wants to come. Others teach, not as part of a class, but just for fun and the educational value.
Above: Professor Jennifer Minner of Cornell University guest lectured on historical preservation for the Defining Smart Cities class. Below: Students at the Fossil Fuel Divestment were able to watch the class broadcast and ask questions live.
Q: What do you hope happens next?
A: I really hope we get decisive action on the part of the administration. It’s been made very clear that they’re not representing the needs and desires of the University as a population with their inaction. If they respect us and truly want to represent us as students, staff, and faculty, then they should divest.
— Kevin Hsu