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February 21, 2013, 2:35 pm
Student-led campaigns urging colleges and universities to divest their stockholdings in fossil-fuel companies have materialized in recent months on more than 230 campuses. Nearly 200 student organizers from across the country will gather this weekend at Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania, for a conference that leaders hope will unify the movement.
Nearly two years ago, students at Swarthmore began pushing the liberal-arts college to sell off its endowment holdings in fossil-fuel companies. Many students campaigning nationwide for divestment say that removing university financial backing from such companies can be a way to combat climate change caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.
In the fall of 2010, Swarthmore’s divestment group visited a group in West Virginia led by Larry Gibson, an environmental activist who died last September, according to Sachie…