After a Great '08, Seattle University's CRI Looks Forward to a Divine '09!

by Maura Rendes, REC student organizer, Pacific Northwest

After just months of campaigning back in the spring of 2008, the Seattle University Committee on Responsible Investment was approved to get rolling in the fall of '08..

Students got pumped up at the REC National Conference in October and spent the remainder of the quarter spreading the word about SRI. Info sessions and collaboration with other student organizations gave the term CRI a name on campus, but it wasn’t until November that CRI was given a face… several faces actually.
We teamed up with the Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace to head up the Seattle projects for the National Days of Action Against Coal and Coal Finance. Soon we had activists from the Seattle Backbone Brigade, Cascade Climate Network and Cool State Sierra Student Coalition asking to join us in our efforts to stand up against Citi’s and Bank of America’s financing of coal power and mountain-top removal mining. A week of tabling on campus and dispersing pamphlets educated SU students about the issue and hundreds of signatures and photos for our petitions educated the financial institutions about our disapproval of their investment practices. By Friday we held a peaceful protest and marched from the Seattle Federal Building to the Seattle Bank of America headquarters. Banners, stickers and our enormous climate change polar bear, Snowflake, informed the public of the banks’ irresponsible practices.

After a successful campaign we began officially accepting applications for CRI. Just two weeks after the National Days of Action, Bank of America announced that it was phasing out its financing of mountain-top removal mining!

Now that CRI is official, just think what we can do! As a brand new committee, SU CRI is looking forward to creating a responsible investment policy for the entire network of Jesuit universities and reallocating a small percentage of the endowment into a Community Development Credit Union. We are looking forward to hosting a NW SRI conference in the spring and spreading the word about REC throughout the region. If you have questions or are interested in collaborating with SU, please feel free to contact Maura Rendes.

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