This year the group Student Climate Culture was created at UVM. We chose to devote our first semester to the divestment campaign currently being launched on college campuses nationwide. Here is a retrospective look at the highlights of this first semester.
- Established a weekly meeting time (Tuesdays at 7PM in Lafayette 108 or 207). These meetings had an attendance ranging between fifteen and forty students.
- Marched on a Board of Trustees meeting holding signs about divestment. Dan Cmejla gave a brief presentation explaining what UVM could gain by divesting and calling the Board to action.
- Held an action in which approximately 200 students lined the walkway between our library and student center (The Davis Center) with black paint on their hands to show that UVM has oil on its hands. We stationed petitioners close by to try and engage passers by in conversation and collect signatures supporting divestment. We have now collected about 1600 signatures and are receiving more each day. Click here to see a video of the action!
- Created an official proposal for University of Vermont’s Socially Responsible Investing Advisory Council (SRIAC)
These are our four main asks:
1. Immediately freeze all new investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies and new contracts with investment accounts that have had at least 5% of total value in fossil fuel holdings at any point during the year. This can be agreed upon by February, 9 2013, when the Board of Trustees meets.
2. A comprehensive plan to eliminate all holdings from the delineated fossil fuel companies, as well as accounts that have 5% or more holdings in fossil fuel companies, will be created by the appropriate parties. A commitment to this plan can be made by February 9, 2013. This plan should be fully implemented by February 2017.
3. Enact Proxies on the aforementioned list of 200 companies when the account has less than 5% fossil fuels.
4. Divest from the account most heavily invested in fossil fuels: The Blackrock All Cap Energy Fund. We ask that the Board of Trustees liquidate this holding at its next meeting.