Approximately 25 students have begun Bowdoin Climate Action’s (BCA) sit-in for fossil fuel divestment this morning on the second floor of Hawthorne Longfellow Hall, which houses the offices of President Barry Mills and Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.

BCA is staging the sit-in because it believes the Board of Trustees has not taken their calls for divestment seriously. Sit-in organizer Matthew Goodrich 15 said that protesters, many of whom are skipping classes, will refuse to leave until the College engages with them about divestment, adding that BCA's current plan is continue the sit-in overnight.

Mills is currently out of town—something that BCA was not aware of until the Orient mentioned it in an interview with spokespeople Allyson Gross ’16 and Goodrich, who said that his absence from campus would not have affected their choice to sit in today.

Administrators continued to work inside their offices with their doors closed. None of them were willing to speak to the Orient.

The sit-in was quiet, with protesters doing homework or browsing the Internet on their laptops. Many students wore orange patches on their clothing—a national symbol for the divestment movement.

Protesters were careful not to interfere with administrators. At one point, Judd walked through the reception area, politely asking several students to let her by. A few minutes later she walked past again, and protest organizers called out for other students to step aside.

Goodrich said that BCA does not plan on chanting or singing, which he says would be disruptive for the administrators in the office.

“We want to let them do their work and they’ll let us do ours,” he said.

Gross said that protestors are prepared in the event that the Office of Safety and Security asks them to leave the building.

“We have plans for all different levels of contingencies. We’ve been planning for a while and are prepared for whatever comes,” she said.

Goodrich said that BCA has not yet determined what it will do if protesters face disciplinary action from the College. 

“We’ll have to see. I’d like to see what happens first before we say what we’ll do,” he said.

The sit in could violate the College's Social Code, which prohibits, “Disruption of the orderly processes of the College, involving obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities, including its public-service activities.”

BCA also published a letter endorsing the sit-in that was signed by 16 parents of current students and 38 alumni, including Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Bob Ives '69.