Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Senate Urges Trustees to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Student Senate unanimously approved this letter on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

To the trustees of Oberlin College:

Whereas:

  • In June of 2014, the Board approved the Divestment Resolution, permitting students to submit proposals regarding the investment of the College endowment;
  • In March 2015, a proposal was submitted calling for the College to divest all direct investments in the 12 most prolific greenhouse gas emitters between 1854 and 2010;
  • Oberlin College has committed to carbon neutrality by 2025 as part of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment;
  • By partially funding its operations through the profits of the fossil fuel industry, whose products Oberlin has deemed too hazardous for its own use, the College finds itself confronted with a troubling contradiction;
  • The students of Oberlin College, in the ongoing spring 2015 referendum, have demonstrated strong support for the proposal;
  • This support has been echoed by the broader Oberlin College community, including faculty and alumni;
  • Oberlin College faces an opportunity to reassert its reputation as a national environmental leader by becoming the first educational institution with an endowment of its size to divest from fossil fuel corporations;
    • And Oberlin’s current investment in fossil fuel corporations meets the criteria for divestment specified in the June 2014 resolution that these investments in fossil fuel companies materially contribute to conditions that shock the conscience;
    • Divestment from these corporations is certain to have significant reputational impacts on this industry, and will encourage our peer institutions to join us;
    • And fossil fuel divestment is welcomed by the greater Oberlin community.

Therefore, the Student Senate of Oberlin College, representing the Oberlin student body, strongly urges the Board of Trustees to approve the March 2015 proposal to divest Oberlin’s endowment from fossil fuel corporations.

– Molly Brand

College senior

Darrell Davis

College junior

Ben Libbey

College junior

Cory Ventresca

College sophomore

Machmud Makhmudov

College junior

Anjali Kolachalam

College first-year

Jeremy Poe

double-degree sophomore

Jordan Ecker

College sophomore

Megs Bautista

College senior

Peace Iyiewuare

College sophomore

Rachel Weinstein

College junior

Deborah Johnson

College first-year

Arianna Crawford

College first-year

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Established 1874.
Senate Urges Trustees to Divest from Fossil Fuels