by Jocelyn Sawyer
EXCITING news: Earlham Student Government has APPROVED a resolution for divestment from fossil fuels! The student senate voted to approve this resolution in a single meeting on April 8th. Today the official endorsement was sent out to the entire student body, so we’re excited to announce the news to the world!
As if that’s not enough good news, ESG also approved a resolution from our friends BDS! The Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) campaign is demanding divestment from companies that support the Israeli occupation. REInvestment has supported this campaign in the past, and we continue to do so.
These resolutions are non-binding – but they send a clear message to Earlham administrators that EC students care about where our money is going. THANK YOU to the student senate for taking this bold step to support Earlham’s principles and stand up against the violences of fossil fuel extraction, climate change, and occupation!
This is the letter that ESG sent to all students today:
On behalf of the Earlham Student Government, we would like to wish you luck in the last few weeks of this semester! As stressful as it may be now, we are only two weeks away from the summer holidays, which are indeed much-needed after this long semester. But before that, we wanted to give you an update about some of the conversations that have been happening in our Student Senate. The Senate is the primary ESG decision-making body, and is designed to be the space for all student representatives from committees and student organizations to make decisions that impact our campus.
In the past few weeks, the Earlham Student Senate has engaged in a conversation with the Earlham ReInvestment Campaign and BDS Earlham (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Campaign. On the 25th of March, the Earlham ReInvestment Campaign presented the Student Senate with a resolution, asking the Senate to support the campaign’s call to encourage the Earlham administration to divest from companies that practice fossil fuel extraction. After much deliberation and conversation, the Student Senate approved the campaign’s resolution through a consensus process.
Adopting a similar method, the BDS Earlham Campaign calls upon the Earlham administration to divest from Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard. The three companies are complicit with the Israeli occupation of Palestine by providing systems and materials used in violations of human rights in Palestine. On the 8th of April, the Student Senate was presented with the BDS resolution to support the campaign’s call. This is the third time that BDS presents its resolution to the Student Senate since the establishment of the movement at Earlham in 2010. After constructive and long conversations, the Senate approved the BDS resolution through a consensus process.
What does passing these resolutions mean? It means that the Earlham Student Government, as the representative body of our students, now stands in support of the two campaigns’ calls to encourage our administration to divest from companies complicit with the Israeli occupation of Palestine as well as fossil fuel extraction. It also speaks to ESG’s acknowledgment of the work, efforts and time that the two campaigns have put into educating our student body about their causes. In addition, it is an acknowledgment of the importance of maintaining the ongoing conversation between SRIAC (the Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee) and the campaigns, which we strongly hope, will soon result in the positive response to the calls of the campaigns. We hope that passing the resolutions will help our campus enhance the frameworks that are currently used to have conversations about pressing global issues. Our support for the resolutions stems from our continuous commitment to our school’s mission and our Principles and Practices.
As we continue to have these conversations, we should always be reminded of the importance of staying compassionate and understanding to one another. This is how we grow, not only as individuals but also as a community. We attached the resolutions to this email. We invite you to read them and approach us with questions and concerns should you have any. We also invite you to attend the Social Justice Carnival, which will be held next Tuesday, April 28th at 4 PM on the heart.
Claire Welsh and Hashem Abushama
On Behalf of the Earlham Student Government