Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
We want to answer your questions about the upcoming referendum and divestment. Submit your questions below and we’ll respond tomorrow.
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More info about the referendum:
This Monday and Tuesday, SGO will administer a school-wide student referendum on fossil fuel divestment. Fossil fuel divestment means removing our financial support from the 200 largest coal, oil and natural gas companies. The goal is to stigmatize and socially isolate the industry. Swarthmore’s campaign to divest began in 2011, and was the first of its kind: today, over 5 trillion dollars have been divested.
This referendum, the first in the campaign’s history, calls on the Board of Managers to partially divest our endowment over 5 years. Specifically to switch separately managed and commingled funds into fossil free accounts only when our existing managers offer such options. This addresses the Board’s major objection to fossil fuel divestment by avoiding having to change our existing investment managers.
This is an essential first step in an era when institutions need to take moral leadership. Divestment is a powerful way for us to reject the climate denial of Trump and his cabinet. Voting is accessible through the link bit.ly/DivestSwat.