by Lee Smithey
Fuel Divestment at Swarthmore College
On 19 March 2015, students at Swarthmore College launched an extended sit-in calling on the College to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. (New items appear at the top of this feed.)
Read the Open Letter to the Board of Managers at Swarthmore College regarding Climate Change and Fossil Fuel Divestment from the faculty members of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology here.
by Sofi Goode and Gabe Rosenberg, Editors-in-Chief
At 10:45 p.m., April 15, 2015, over 10 hours after entering the office of University President Michael Roth, the nine remaining members of the Coalition for Divestment and Transparency left for the night. So as to not place an extra burden on Public Safety, which has kept at least one officer attending the occupying party since their meeting with Roth ended at 1:15 p.m., the group reached a compromise to save their place in the office.
They returned the next morning at 8 a.m. sharp; by 10:30 a.m., Roth had finished meeting with the occupying students and agreed to publicly endorse divestment from the prison-industrial complex.
The Coalition’s sit-in would end.
Around 40 students had gathered in South College at noon on Thursday, April 16 for a sit-in to demand the University’s divestment from fossil fuels, the prison-industrial complex, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. According to spokesperson Abby Cuniff ’17, the Coalition—a newly formed collaborative composed of members of Wes, Divest!, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Ujamaa—met with Roth for an hour to discuss their manifesto and read him their demands.
April 8, 2015 — The Wesleyan Board of Trustees passed a resolution to consider “environmental, social or governance factors” in its investment process following a recommendation by committee designed to promote shareholder responsibility for the university in late February.
In a proposal to the Board of Trustees, the Committee for Investor Responsibility (CIR) said divesting from coal companies would have financial, governmental and ecological benefits to the university and its community. Per the recommendation, the trustees resolved to consider the “environmental, social or governance factors” in its investment process.
by Mira Klein, Class of 2017
Last November, an article was published titled “Digging Deeper into Divestment” which questioned the effectiveness of the fossil fuel divestment movement and in particular the divestment campaign on our campus run by Wes, Divest. This piece is intended to address the valid concerns raised in that article, while maintaining that fossil fuel divestment is indeed both a sound strategy and a necessary course of action.
The goal of Wes, Divest is to “un-invest” (divest) the Wesleyan endowment from fossil fuel companies. We define fossil fuel companies as those whose primary business is the extraction and/or burning of oil, coal, and natural gas. As was mentioned in the November article, this includes both a retraction of current investments in fossil fuel holdings and a freeze on any new fossil fuel investments.
Students at Wesleyan University in Connecticut have occupied the office of President Michael Roth to demand the university divest from fossil fuel companies, the prison industry and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The action marks the anniversary of President Roth’s own participation in a sit-in for divestment from South African apartheid as a Wesleyan student in 1978. Their sit-in comes as students at Harvard University demanding fossil fuel divestment continued to block the entrance of an administration building after President Drew Gilpin Faust offered to meet with them only on the condition they end their blockade.