Guest Post from Jenny Godwin of Divest WWU

This past Wednesday evening, March 12th, the Associated Students of Western Washington University gave a unanimous 7-0 vote to urge the WWU Foundation to divest from its $1.5 million invested in fossil fuels. In addition, the ask calls for an amendment to the WWU Foundation’s social responsibility clause: to include fossil fuels exclusion alongside that of tobacco and alcohol stocks. The ask came on the heels of five months of Divestment Study Group meetings since the group’s formation last spring, with over a dozen presentations compiled by the student, faculty/staff and Foundation board member committee. Having crafted this information into a thirty page document, this was presented as an info item by the AS VP for Student Life to the AS Board the Wednesday before last, March 5th

With guidance from Divest Western team members to craft strong language for the AS Board to finalize, the March 12th action item vote set the dominos falling towards the WWU Foundation Board’s next quarterly meeting this May. With Divestment as an agenda item for the Board’s discussion, students plan to keep a strong presence in the campaign moving forward into spring quarter and into next fall. Students packed the room for the Wednesday vote, carrying orange Divest Western! signs and flipping them to a THANK YOU! after unanimous decision.

divest vote

This vote marks a strong show of support for the student-lead, faculty and community supported campaign that began in December 2012 with a Students for Renewable Energy group trip to Seattle for Bill Mckibben’s first stop on the Do the Math Tour. The Divest Western team plans to create a hub soon for both faculty and alumni to voice their strong support for divestment, urging the Foundation to commit to the five-year divestment process before the December 2014 deadline ask date.