We just got some great coverage for the campaign in Campus Progress, one of the leading voices for youth organizing in the country. Check out the article below:
Students Push for Divestment from Fossil Fuels at Universities Across the Nation
by Candice Bernd
Students across the nation are pushing their universities to divest their endowments from fossil fuel companies in a coordinated strategy that hits dirty energy corporations where it matters most—their bottom line.
Last week students at Harvard University voted 72 percent in favor of divesting Harvard’s $30.7 billion endowment from fossil fuels in the first student-wide referendum of its kind. Students for a Just and Stable Future have been organizing the campaign since September, pressuring the university to withdraw their investments from the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.
Students gathered hundreds of signatures to get the referendum question on the ballot during the Harvard student government elections and were the first student group to do so in six years. The referendum makes fossil fuel divestment the official position of the Harvard College Undergraduate Council— but is not a binding vote that has the power to change the structure of the university’s endowment. Alli Welton, an organizer with Student for a Just and Stable Future helped gather the more than 1,000 petition signatures that made the ballot referendum possible.
“Students don’t have control over how Harvard invests its money,” Welton told Campus Progress. “It’s a very clear mandate from the undergraduate student body for our campaign to go ahead and continue trying to get the administration to talk with us about this issue, which they’ve been pretty reluctant to do so far … It seems like [the administration has] not taken the result of the referendum very seriously.”
Welton says Students for a Just and Stable Future are pushing for a meeting with Harvard President Drew Faust to take the next step toward concrete divestment from dirty energy.
Harvard’s divestment campaign is supported by the Better Future Project and 350.org— and is just a one piece the divestment movement that has spread across more than 50 campuses,including well-developed campaigns taking shape at Tufts, Syracuse, Brown, Cornell, and Amherst. The organizing effort is in conjunction with 350.org founder Bill McKibben’s ongoing “Do the Math” 21-city tour which is actively promoting divestment from fossil fuel companies.