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DEMAND 5- Stop Promoting FF

Demand 5:

We demand that the University of Washington eliminate promotional advertising, and end career fairs or other events which promote and funnel prospective employees into the fossil fuel industry. In particular, we demand:
The UW Daily must amend its internal policy guidelines to prohibit fossil fuel corporations from using the platform of the Daily to promote the Industry’s interests. We also encourage the Daily to sign the
The UW Daily must develop a comprehensive plan for their coverage of the climate crisis, ensuring that they will represent the gravity of the crisis when conveying messaging which specifically mentions it. Additionally, this entails using an intersectional filter (i.e. Equity filter) when reporting so as to uplift and share the voices and perspectives of frontline community members when at all possible
The Career and Internship Center must amend their employer user policy to prohibit companies in the fossil fuel industry from recruiting on campus nor using the Center’s services in any capacity to engage with students. The Attorney General’s office must approve this amendment for the safety of UW students. Furthermore, the Center must issue a public statement notifying employers of this change and directing employers with existing relationships to the Center to disclose their status in relation to the fossil fuel industry. More thorough vetting of companies is needed with concern for violations of worker safety, federal convictions for illegal corporate behavior, and effects on the health and safety of the general population.
from the following departments must enact a similar moratorium and commit to the fossil free pledge: Business (MBA); Business (Undergraduate and Specialty Masters); Computational Finance and Risk Management (MS-CFRM); Computer Science & Engineering; Construction Management; Data Science (Masters); Engineering; Information School; International Studies; Law (JD); Medical (MD); Public Administration (MPA); Public Health
Student Organizations (RSOs), and on campus groups must commit to the fossil free pledge, refuse donations from fossil fuel interests, ban promotional events or partnerships, and support other initiatives on campus for a more just and healthy campus environment.


The UW Daily
UW Career & Internship Center (Division of Student Life)
The University of Washington Division of the Attorney General’s Office
On-campus RSOs, Schools and Departments

Background on FF Advertising

Advertising in the Age of Denialism
When looking at the past 70 years of climate inaction, one begins to question why so little has been done, why climate denialism has flourished, and how the myths about the fossil fuel industry have persisted. One culprit has been the fossil fuel industry’s the infiltration of the media. Since the 1950’s scientists have recognized the dangers of global warming and the fossil fuel industry was sending around internal memos about research by their scientists that confirmed the severity of the emerging crisis. Their response? Instead of acting to respond they began a massive which devolved into multibillion dollar lobbying and disinformation campaigns. Today, their appear in news articles about natural gas, and fossil fuel companies work to ensure their narrative is the first result that appears in internet searches:
However, many newspaper companies are now recognizing the gravity of the crisis and implementing changes to their policies to reflect this. The Guardian, a more than 200 year-old, well-respected international outlet, announced at the start of 2020 that they would , following up on a change to their to more accurately reflect the gravity of the climate crisis and demonstrate intentionality with their work. One group called the has created a pledge for creatives or leaders of agencies, to decline future contracts with the fossil fuel industry. We demand that the University’s main media agency: , sign this pledge and take an approach to climate reporting which emphasizes the intersectional and unjust nature of the climate crisis, putting an end to the fossil fuel false narratives.

Background on Career Promotions of FF

📖 READ: Career Services: Recruiting for the Next Generation of Merchants of Death?
Background: ICA Reached out to the Career and Internship Center in March 2022 imploring the Center to prioritize the safety and well-being of the UW community over fossil fuel interests
Career Services Recruiting for the Next Generation of Merchants of Death.pdf
1.1 MB
Our stance is that the Career Center should issue a public statement that they will no longer allow companies from the fossil fuel industry to recruit students on campus or utilize the Center’s services. Such a blanket statement may seem significant, yet given the corrupt nature of the industry, and many violations of the Career Center’s employment user policy, doing so would ultimately be quite simple and have no effect on the Career and Internship Center’s capacity to serve its student and employer base.
Importantly, the industry is a serious harm towards students safety; more broadly as will be discussed with reference to the climate crisis, and in particular for those directly employed by fossil fuel infrastructure companies. For example, compared with other more renewable energy industries. Even natural gas and fracking—the most recent fossil fuel industry invention— in the U.S. over a five year period. Overall, . Considering that the center has the expectation that all employers “adhere to local mandates and requirements regarding public health and safety in their office environments,” the industry cannot continue to be granted the ability to recruit students into an uncertain and unsafe future.
But what if students would want to accept this risk and seek jobs from the industry? First let’s acknowledge that— as is noted in their policy—there’s nothing the Center could or should do to prevent students from making their own career choice. But consider that anyways; it’s a dying, unprofitable industry. Job security is minimal, with the industry . Because of this disinterest, the Career Center may have even noticed , making the Center’s decision evermore important. Moreover, recent fact checks have countered that the jobs actually provided by the fossil fuel industry are leaving oil and gas at less than (that is, of course, unless you count Jackson’s convenience store clerks as employees in the oil and gas sector…).
Important from a legal standpoint is that the fossil fuel industry violates the Center’s. Primary in the policy’s “Legal and Ethical Restrictions” section is the statement:
“In order to protect our students, the Career & Internship Center reserves the right to refuse service to employers due to any of the following: dishonesty; breach of confidentiality; fraud; misrepresentation; abuse or other harassment of University of Washington students, alumni or staff; or any other violation of University rules and regulations, local, state or federal laws.”
One key stipulation made in your policy is that the Center does not allow employers “judged by a court of law in the United States to be engaged in illegal activities.” This may actually rule out most of the Fossil Fuel industry. On a broad note, the FTC is currently investigating American gasoline vendors for . More blatant of course, is the industry’s long habit of willingly violating environmental and safety regulations and facing for their illegal activities. Our this issue in her time as California’s Attorney General, bringing criminal cases against a litany of fossil fuel companies. Just a few months ago, the feds once again were forced to for their shoddy work at fracking. These examples serve as a reminder that the fossil fuel industry is recognized as corrupt not only by those critical of its unwavering for-profit motives, but the very system of profit accumulation itself.
Beyond their violations of your employer user policy, is of course the fossil fuel industry's impact on the health and well-being of the broader student population and society. I imagine you are familiar with some of the harms of the climate crisis: the , , the , the and to name a few. But rarely do we hear about the potentially driven by fossil fuel air pollution in WA state in 2010 (which is disproportionality generated by the fossil fuel industry, it is quite possible that we can attribute most of the asthma deaths to combusted fossil fuel air pollution). And given that Black, Indigenous and POC communities face the brunt of air pollution, we should be horrified but not surprised that . On campus there are more acute effects as well. Think to early Autumn quarter and late Summer quarter when students who chose to venture outside in-between classes were exposed to unusually high levels of carcinogenic PM2.5 smoke from Imagine the inability to concentrate on school work because of 100+ degree temperatures. Or trying to study for finals while you anxiously await to hear from your extended family bracing for a hurricane or evacuating from a fire worsened by climate change.
All of this makes it clear that the fossil fuel industry is disruptive to students' education and their lives once they enter their careers. Serving as a medium for recruitment into this Industry is immoral, and perhaps in violation of your policy.
So, why does it matter for the Career Center to refuse to allow fossil fuel companies to promote their business and recruit students through your services? What difference will it make?
One large effect is helping The only reason its seems normal to come across a Halliburton booth but not a pornography film company or Heroin manufacturer at a UW career fair is that the latter groups lack social license. By issuing a public statement, people's perceptions of the industry can change.
Another important effect is that it prevents the school to fuel pipeline as we might call it. While the it fails to mention to students the dangers of joining their workforce and its overall willingness to sacrifice new recruits. Moreover, this pipeline is feeding the industry the best and brightest in engineers, scientists, and social scientists. Instead of innovating new solutions to our energy and climate needs, or promoting good governance, students’ skills are being squandered on stop gap solutions to fix a dying industry.
The time is long past overdue. Here is our request:
The Career and Internship Center must amend their employer user policy to prohibit companies in the fossil fuel industry from recruiting on campus nor using the Center’s services in any capacity to engage with students. Furthermore, the Center must issue a public statement notifying employers of this change and directing employers with existing relationships to the Center to disclose their status in relation to the fossil fuel industry. More thorough vetting of companies is needed with concern for violations of worker safety, federal convictions for illegal corporate behavior, and effects on the health and safety of the general population.


One worry with promoting Fossil Fuels is that students will be recruited into the industry. Shouldn’t students be allowed to make their own job choices?
Yes, and FFU will not try to stop students who truly desire on their own to enter the fossil fuel industry; like students going in to the tobacco industry, which has been banned from UW promotion and advertisements as mentioned above. However, FFU believes that absent external push, few UW grads would of free volition choose fossil fuels. The industry is experiencing and will continue a rapid decline over the next fifty years, as nations, business, and local governments regulate it out of existence; this makes it anything but a stable profession.
Our generation, and younger generations like it, are also saying no to jobs that don’t fit their moral view of the world, more than any generation before. As opposed to 44% of the general population, 62% of millennials desire a job which they think “has a positive impact on the world,” and are also more likely to take “meaningful work” over a high salary. Given that job security is much lower in , and fossil fuel workers , there are plenty of reasons for UW grads to stay away, as long as they’re kept away from interpersonal, active recruiting.
Even if Fossil Fuels are immoral, shouldn’t UW be getting it’s students as many jobs as it can?
To be clear, the argument against fossil fuel promotion isn’t just morality; this is insecure and possibly traumatic employment (like our answer to the previous question described). The “freedom of morality” argument, if you’re going to make it, should be applied to the pornography and tobacco industries as well, both of which UW refuses to promote for moral reasons.
However, with all that put aside, the fossil fuel industry doesn’t even provide as many jobs as it claims. Widespread beliefs about a job-creating machine are probably seriously misguided, and UW would likely be avoiding the promotion of less opportunity than you’d think. Recent fact checks put the number of jobs fossil fuels provide at close to , somewhere somewhere between the fossil fuel industry has variably claimed. The UW should be clear-eyed in understanding that by omitting the fossil fuel industry, it’s letting other, better options open, not closing doors.

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