Sussex students boycott fossil fuel industry recruitment

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A student union has voted to boycott all recruitment in the oil, gas and mining industry as part of a campaign to divest from fossil fuels.

A motion, passed by the University of Sussex Students’ Union student council, means that no oil, gas or mining recruitment will take place in the students’ union building or spaces union-controlled digital.

The union will also now refuse to endorse or participate in any event where oil, gas or mining companies are invited.

Staff and student union representatives have worked with student activists to encourage the university’s careers service to also cut its ties with industries and adopt an “ethical career policy” that explicitly excludes oil companies, gas and mining recruitment opportunities.

Niamh Tickner, Secretary of the University of Sussex Students’ Union Sustainability Committee, said: “Universities have a huge influence on shaping today’s youth and have a responsibility to equip their students for the future in light of accelerating climate and natural crises.

“By working with the fossil fuel industry, they actively facilitate students into dead-end careers with no sustainable future and act as if the best interests of students are at heart.

“Sussex must stop pretending, address their complicity and recognize that they are betraying their students by denying them a future in the climate emergency we face.”

The move follows a commitment by the university to divest from fossil fuels in February 2018.

Fergus Green, People and Planet’s climate campaigns co-ordinator, said: ‘Sussex students have come together to say, with incredible force, that they don’t want oil, gas and mining recruiters invited on the campus.

“Now all eyes are on the careers department, which has a fantastic opportunity to engage with students and implement a strong ethical career policy.”

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