By Jock Gilchrist, Senior with Fossil Free UD

Fossil Free UD finished out the spring semester with a bang. On the National Divestment Day of Action on May 2nd, the group administered a poll and had 95% of students surveyed say they support socially responsible investing. 89% said they support fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in carbon neutral or clean energy companies. To formalize this widespread support, the group submitted a StUDent Government Association proposal on May 4th.Divestment Survey

The proposal was finally presented on May 14th. After a few questions and brief discussion, about 15 student Senators voted for the proposal, none against it, and about 5 abstained. With the passing of this resolution, the University of Delaware joins the ranks of a few other world-class universities whose student governments have taken action on divestment and made strides towards a more sustainable future. The proposal, now adopted by SGA, urges administration to make divestment a real priority.

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The state of Delaware is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change because its average elevation is the lowest in the country, at only 60 feet. This means that, according to some models, 11% of the state will be underwater by the year 2100. As the state’s most prominent university, UD claims to value sustainability and makes efforts towards implementing green changes here and there. But it’s illogical to financially support companies that are the antithesis to sustainability, and that are jeopardizing the future that UD works so hard to prepare its students for. Now that the student body’s desire for sustainability in both talk and practice has been codified by a student government resolution, administration won’t be able to shrug off the divestment discussion so easily. UD’s motto is “Dare to be First.” Let’s make sure they act on this commitment to leadership.