Collaborative Activism

by Dave Warnock, Midwest Student Organizer

More to do. There is always more to do. My team at Washington University did excellent work over the past two and a half year to secure the creation of the Investor Responsibility Committee. And I’m thankful for all the work that they put in. Since I’ll be graduating at the end of the year, I want to wish them all the best of luck in continuing their work on campus. There are number of improvements to work on in the coming years, and I would like to offer them my continued support in the semesters ahead.

I know I feel proud of what we started at WashU. The creation of the Investor Responsibility Committee is a huge precedent and an enormous foothold on which to build future endowment-based campaigns in the future. And I’m excited to see how the WashU students are going to put it to use.

Significant as it is, the Committee needs work and improvements going forward. And I trust my team to take on the mantle of these efforts. I discussed some of this in my last blog post, from the lack of positive screening power to the restriction on consensus issues. My recommendation is to adopt broadening power as the next strategy in the WashU Endowment campaign. After a year of smooth operations, there should be decent bargaining power.

I feel as though I myself gained something from all this work as well. Before starting on endowment issues, I was not the most adept campaign organizer in the world. Two and a half years of work has really helped me develop. I look forward to the next campaign I take on, and then I can really show my stuff. The endowment showed me the power of collaborative effort and coalition building, and these are strengths of mine in particular now. I imagine they will serve me well.

So I’ll close by offering my final thank you’s to everyone who was a part of this. First thanks is to Todd Zimmer, who initiated the campaign and discovered the issue. Next to Dan Cohn and Molly Gott, who easily the most helpful partners I could have hoped for in a campaign, and best of luck in net year’s work with the Committee. Then to Dan Fishman and all leaders at the Student Union for providing the official support of the Student Body and for developing a permanent relationship with the Investment Office. To Kim Walker for being open to our ideas and listening to us and dealing in good faith all this time. And of course, to Dan, Martin, and fellow Student Organizers at REC for their professional guidance and training all year. To all these people and more, I say that I couldn’t have done it with out you.

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