November/December Campus Updates

American University students are working on establishing a corporate responsibility board for responsible investing .  We are currently drafting a proposal to present to the Board of Trustees.  We just held a workshop on the Solidarity Economy with Jessica Gordon Nembhard.  She led a discussion about how our work on responsible investment fits into the solidarity economy movement and how we can make changes in our own lives to act in solidarity with people, not corporations.

Bard College students are reevaluating the SRI mutual fund where the student endowment is invested.  Alongside this reevaluation, we are writing an article in the student paper to inform the student body about the performance of the fund, as well as its purpose and screening methods.    We are continuing to look for different options for community investment and are putting together a proposal for the short-term deposit of the Student Activities Fee Fund in a community bank over the summer.

Columbia University The Columbia Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing recently held its annual town hall to hear from students interested in proposing specific actions by the committee. The Columbia REC group made three proposals. More details here.

Fordam University students continue to educate their campus social justice community about responsible endowments practices. They hope to host a campus-wide event with speakers from the SRI industry and local campus Committees On Investor Responsibility this spring.

Grinnell College Students for Responsible Investing are urging their school to co-file a resolution on gender discrimination at a major company after successfully convincing the school to vote on that proxy last year. They will know in a couple weeks whether or not this effort will be successful.

Hampshire College students continue to await their administration’s decision regarding the school’s socially responsible investment policy. A campus group charged with managing a student-run endowment according to ESG criteria is currently researching their options as well.

Haverford College faculty and administrators are weighing whether or not to co-file a resolution with a major company concerning indigenous rights in the developing world.

Students at the London School of Economics and Political Science recently submitted a proposal to their administration for the creation of a cir that will include a purview encompassing multiple investment strategies. Read more here.

Loyola University Chicago ‘s committee plans to co-file on several resolutions, details forthcoming.

Luther College students are proposing a subcommittee to their Trustee endowment committee to both examine and make recommendations based on ESG criteria regarding mutual funds.

Macalester College students from a wide variety of organizations have formed a campus coalition to propose a substantial proactive investment policy based on the community’s shared values of sustainability and social responsibility.

Middlebury College's Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investment is working with the college's Board of Trustees to establish a "Sustainability Fund."  This fund will be invested in a mutual fund that fits certain environmental criteria.  The students hope that this fund will become a model for how larger portions of the endowment could be invested in the future.

Mount Holyoke College students recently met with their Trustees to propose placing endowment funds into Community Development Financial Institutions based on the success of the student-run community investment fund. They are also pushing their Student Senate to support the effort with a resolution.

New School students from a number of organizations have presented several campus events on sustainable investment. They plan to implement their committee on responsible investment this spring.

New York University students are creating a detailed proposal for the steering committee of the Sustainability Task Force to create a Finance Working Group at NYU. The proposal outlines various financial mechanisms that will enhance sustainability on campus, including the recommendation of a revolving loan fund, a system of cost benefit analysis, proxy voting and preferential investment strategies. The working group aims to create a cross-disciplinary approach to use finance as a way to achieve a triple-bottom line, not only at NYU but in the global community as well.

Sarah Lawrence College students are creating an active SRI committee of students through their Student Government. Students who serve on the board would be responsible for all things SRI and would have a non-voting position on   the school's Board. Sarah Lawrence is working towards more student transparency on the Board (we currently only have one student with a seated position).

Tufts University students continue to lobby their school to strengthen the existing committee on investor responsibility. Their latest op-ed is available here.

At the University of Michigan we are working on getting a student advisory committee on responsible investing set up.  We have been working with the administration, specifically the CFO, Tim Slottow, and the secretary to the Board of Regents, Sally Churchill.  They have expressed that we will need to convey more student support before setting up such a committee, so we are refocusing on building student support for a committee.

Washington University Students for Endowment Transparency continue to raise awareness on campus of their school ties to coal  while also meeting with school officials about implementing a responsible investment policy.We are asking for the creation of an institutionalized financial oversight committee with elected student, faculty, and community representation.  This committee would be able to oversee all investment decisions and vote on them, as well as engage in shareholder activism.  We are also asking for this committee to report back to the university community through a website providing full endowment transparency and also through regular briefings of the student union.

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