Campus Updates, October 2011: REC's National Conference, College Bank Transfer Day, and more!

Students from across the attended REC’s 8th National Conference at Pace University in Lower Manhattan, New York City this past weekend. It was a blast talking to students from across the country, from Florida to Chicago to Washington State to San Diego! Students also formed a planning committee to discuss our two biggest events coming up in the next month: College Bank Transfer Day on November 5th, where students around the country will be organizing to move their money out of Wall Street and into community banks, and a National Week of Action November 13-19 to encourage universities to do the same!

Swarthmore College students found a letter in their mailboxes this month from the school’s (entirely fictional) “Investment Profitability Committee”, discussing their successes investing in major dirty energy giants. Now more and more people are asking: shouldn’t our money be put to better use? Check out the campus media coverage and Mountain Justice’s op-ed.

Students at Wesleyan University are taking on their university’s investment and banking policies. Check out this open letter they wrote to their Board of Trustees. We look forward to hearing more from them in the coming months as they demand their voices be heard and engage with their administration.

Seattle University students came back from REC’s National Conference invigorated and ready to revamp their committee on responsible investment. Read all about it in this awesome article!

One of REC’s student organizers at the University of San Francisco published an op-ed about how to use USF’s money to create real change and the opportunities that Occupy SF is providing their community. Check it out!

The Faculty Council at Boston University voted to endorse a proposal by students calling for a commmittee for socially responsible investing! The proposal now goes to the Board of Trustees. Congrats, BU!

At Yale University,  the student-managed Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund has received additional money from the Dwight Hall trustees after a year of strong performance! It now has $20,000 in community banks in addition to the $45,000 in diversified publicly-traded investments. Additionally, the fund will pay its first distribution into the Dwight Hall operating budget this year. At the end of last year they had over 50 applications for 7 open spots on the funds management team.

Brown University was listed repeatedly as a REC ‘success story’ at our conference - for its social choice fund (see our student handbook’s case study) as well as for its more recent victories in the HEI campaign. Students are ready to take their work to the next level at Brown, from organizing regionally at other schools to get money out of HEI to exploring community investment options.

Drew University’s new Socially Responsible Investment Committee (SRIC), established by students with the support of REC two years ago. REC and Drew students are continuing to talk about how to move their school forward and bring the SRIC fully into the fold of being an effective and empowered part of the investment decision-making process.

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are digging deep into their schools’ investments to change the way universities invest in coal companies. Both groups will be meeting with their administrations in the next week.

Students at Hampton University are raising the isuse of their schools’ investments in major banks, and how and why the school can be more justly and sustainably investing in the underserved Hampton community. They’ll be participtaing in College Bank Transfer Day and our National Week of Action in November!

Students at Barnard College are currently focusing their efforts on College Bank Transfer Day (November 5th!), as they plan on hosting credit unions on campus to get 20 students open an account with them. More generally, their intent is to educate students about the impact they can create by moving their money out of the Big Banks that have increasingly been taking over the entire neighborhood. Other initiatives include creating a pool of resources for students to learn about community development.

REC will be visiting Duke University next week as part of our tour of North Carolina schools, and we’re excited to learn more about their desire to engage their school on a variety of investment issues, including its participation in investing in conflict minerals and the genocide in the Congo.

Students at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles at our National Conference! LMU student are coming out of the conference with a new set of tools and knowledge, are taking action on a variety of subjects including the potential of investing in their own community and getting other schools involved.

American University students are honing a three-pronged approach this year - looking at transparency of their endowment, working to set up a committee on investor responsibility, and moving forward with a community investment proposal.

Students at the University of Pittsburgh are hitting the ground running! In addition to being a major driving force on students’ National Community Investment Campaign Committee, they are planning a series of events for College Bank Transfer Day and the National Week of Action.

Washington University in St. Louis students are taking Occupy Wall Street and Occupy STL back to campus. They’re working on a series of “Occupy Lunches” to discuss the issues raised by Occupy Wall Street and Occupy STL, and how to create change at their school, starting with College Bank Transfer Day.

Students at Florida A&M Univeristy are planning a house party to discuss the problems of the big banks, the way in which the Tallahassee community has been hit, and how they can help to create a more just financial system. We were also excited to have our first FAMU student come to New York to join us for our conference!

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