We Are Mountain Justice, Ask Us Anything About the Referendum

We want to answer your questions about the upcoming referendum and divestment. Submit your questions below and we’ll respond tomorrow.

Questions so far...

  • Someone asked:
    If you lose, will you honor the result and stop the campaign? Or do you only intend to force the other side to abide by a positive result?
  • Someone asked:
    Given the failure of the last referendum, why do you think this one will go any better?
  • Someone asked:
    How do you expect the investment office to divest if they only pick portfolio managers (PMs) and it's the PMs that have jurisdiction whether or not to divest from "fossil fuels?"
  • Someone asked:
    Who are our investment managers and what kind of fossil free funds do they have? What are the returns on these funds?
  • Someone asked:
    Has the board said anything to you about whether they'll take the results of the referendum seriously?
  • Someone asked:
    How will divestment affect the rising cost of tuition/financial aid?
  • Someone asked:
    Will divestment have an immediate impact on the endowment, thus decreasing the school's ability the provide students with the same/an adequate amount of financial aid?

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.


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