Divesting from oil, working together
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:10
A few savvy students recently took a look at the stocks UVM invests in. The findings? There are a few black marks on our very green campus.
They argue that a university cannot preach sustainability when it is profiting from investments in petroleum and oil companies.
To make complex investing simple: when you give UVM your precious tuition dollars, they don’t hide it under President Sullivan’s mattress. Instead, our University makes a profit off of the money by investing in large index funds, which are made up of individual stocks.
While it takes some digging, a close look at these funds reveals that UVM has made money off of Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Dominion and other companies that suck fossil fuels out of the Earth as fast as they can.
Regardless of your political affiliation, climate change is a real issue. And while it was troubling to see the issue not discussed in any of the US Presidential debates, these students are hoping that they can get our administration to make a change on campus that has global repercussions.
The response so far is one of cooperation that we at the Cynic are glad to see. The administration has recognized the problem and has gone on the record to say that they are open to change. This issue seems to be one where student activists will be sitting in Waterman, problem-solving with the Board of Trustees, instead of standing outside protesting.
We are going to hold the administration accountable to their words and look forward to seeing this large step between student and administrator cooperation.
The balance: finding an investment strategy that does not compromise the profitability of UVM’s portfolio while slowly divesting from fossil fuels.