Fossil Fuel Divestment initiatives at ELCS Colleges and
Adolphus: Report for March, 2014.
A student group arising out of the
Campus Greens, Divest Gustavus, with
some encouragement from an alum, has taken this issue and run with it. See
https://www.facebook.com/groups/308071475970941/ They are running the effort themselves and have
managed to engage the Administration in thoughtful dialogue exploration. They
are reaching out to students, faculty, alumni and college Trustees. A
summary of their efforts thus far is:
Created Divest Gustavus committee
through the Gustavus Greens and established a Facebook presence.
Circulated a petition among student
body, faculty, and alumni. Tabled at student involvement fair and plans to
table next week.
Worked alongside budget officers to
learn about endowment, investment, and planning a proposal to the Board of
Trustees' Investment Committee.
Drafted a proposal to the Board's
Investment Committee including a summary, background, goals, outcomes,
projects, supporters, and letters of support/concern.
Researched 90 socially responsible
mutual funds to propose to the Board's Investment Committee.
Planned meetings with Investment
Committee members in April and May.
Consulted with representatives of the Crossroads Program, Gustavus Democrats,
and Investment Club.
Drafted a letter to send to alumni
on fossil fuel divestment.
Attended conferences and participated in phone and internet communications with
other participating colleges and universities.
Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation
Gustavus Adolphus College
St. Olaf: Report for March 2014
My name is Will Lutterman, and I'm a
sophomore at St. Olaf College. I am helping to co-organize a group here at St.
Olaf. Overall, our campaign is going well, and we are working with faculty,
staff, and college administrators to communicate with our Board of Regents
about divestment. Overall, we are concerned about St. Olaf's investments in
fossil fuels and are urging the Board of Regents to consider divestment not
only because it is a financially responsible decision, but also because we have
a fiduciary responsibility to future Oles.
Dependence on fossil fuels has no
place in a sustainable future for our generation, our children or our
children’s children. These resources will have to be relegated to the past, and
we have the opportunity to be a part of this critical shift toward sustainable
energy sources. Given our responsibility to future generations, we view this
issue as an important moral question.
We understand that though fossil
fuels make up a fraction of our assets, divesting from them may be complicated
task. Yet we students feel it is important that we strive to fulfill our roles
described in our St. Olaf mission statement as “responsible and knowledgeable
citizens of the world.”
we have urged our Investment Committee to take a responsible step toward the
future and divert funds away from fossil fuels and into alternative energy
initiatives. We are also working to forge a strong connection between staff,
faculty, students, alumni, and Board of Regents.
Pacific Lutheran University: Report for
has been only slight movement on PLU's campus around divestment. We have a
student group, (Grassroots Environmental Activism Now, or GREAN) that is
extraordinarily excited to take on this campaign. Many of them had the
chance to see Bill McKibben when he came through Seattle, but are having some
difficulty getting it started. This is most likely due to the vague nature of
our endowment and the lack of common knowledge about where it is invested. Without
that key information, the students are not sure how to begin.
Some key administrators are supportive. A strong demand from the students would
be helpful if the topic is to make it to the Investment Committee of our Board.
There is quite a lot of potential here at PLU, and I hope to have some good
news to report to you by the end of the semester.