March 19, 2012
On Monday, March 19th, members of the Swarthmore community attended a mid-day celebration. At approximately 12:30 pm outside of the Science Center, representatives from the U.S. Dirty Energy Council honored the College’s Dedication to Short-Sighted Investments. A brief unveiling ceremony was held for a “Black Gold” plaque. Sparkling grape juice was served to venerate the occasion and celebrate the College’s value of corporate irresponsibility. “It’s hard being in the energy business,” a U.S. DEC representative said. “Fortunately we have institutions like Swarthmore who have relentlessly supported us through their investments.” The plaque is located next to and looks remarkably similar to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification plaque. The proximity demonstrates that, despite Swarthmore’s efforts to curtail its own consumption of fossil fuels, it continues–through investments in companies such as Exxon Mobile and Chevron–to financially support extraction, “for which we can all be thankful.” The plaque is a true memorial to communal dissonance.