May 19, 2005

Considering Discussing further Consideration

After months of exhausting and mind-numbing research, the Darfur Action Group has put together a comprehensive argument for divestment. It is briefly outlined on my Free Dartmouth post.

Divestment is being pursued through the bureaucratic framework for these things. Unfortunately, that means things are a bit slow. After repeated discussions and presentations to the ACIR (Adivsory Committee on Investor Responsibility), some members are prepared to reccomend divesting from highly complicit oil companies (i.e. PetroChina) and military suppliers. Unfortunately, other members are insistent on gathering additional information (that could not possibly change the reality of the situation enough to make these specific investments ethical), and so all I got today was a pledge to discuss considering the possibilities of considering further discussion on the matter.

However, the committee is likely to make some decision by the end of the term. Decisions made by the ACIR are only reccomendations, however, and so they will then have to be approved by the Investment Committee and then the Board of Trustees. The problem? The Trustees meet in June and then over the summer. The Investment Committee meets in September.

Still, there is hope. Dartmouth could quite possibly lead the way, pushing other colleges and institutions on the brink of divestment to make that final leap. Already, Harvard has divested from PetroChina, and yesterday Illinois officially began the process of divesting its $1.2 billion in public pension funds invested in these companies.

There will be a public forum with the ACIR next Thursday, at 4pm, in the Faculty Lounge in the Hop.

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