Exciting Updates from Campuses

Below are some brief updates on the headway that students are making on their campuses. Look for a college or university that you know or get some tips and ideas from other campuses.

Bard College:

The Committee hopes to expand and formalize proxy voting guidelines, use surplus student activities fund money for community investment, transfer a percentage of the endowment into community banks, research microfinance in the Hudson Valley, and explore new shareholder resolution filing opportunities.

Barnard College:

The Committee continues to work with administrators and external fund managers to develop a responsible investment policy that fits with current investment strategies.

Brown University:

The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) administers the

Brown Socially Responsible Investment Fund (BSRI) and is about to make its first investment. More information at http://brownsri.blogspot.com/.

California Institute of Technology:

Student government officials approached the administration about adding sustainable investing policies to the existing investment guidelines but the administration does not believe the endowment is an appropriate place for student involvement. The Graduate Student Council is planning to transfer their assets to a community bank at the end of the fiscal year.

Carleton College:

In the Spring the Committee conducted a faculty/ staff/ student wide survey with the aim of understanding the community's investment preferences. Theysurveyed 200 student and 100 staff members and a few faculty. They are going to conduct another one this fall. This Spring they also completed a follow-up report for the Trustees which included some additional analysis of the resolutions that we passed in the Winter. More information is available at http://apps.carleton.edu/governance/cric/charter/.

Columbia University:

Students in the REC Columbia chapter continue to seek greater transparency and the active participation of the Columbia community in regarding the school’s investment decisions. The Committee is submitting their proxy voting guidelines written in a spring 2009 Socially Responsible Investment class, convened by the Committee Chair, to the Trustees this fall. More information is available at http://www.finance.columbia.edu/sri/.

DePaul University:

Students are working on a proposal for a committee on investor responsibility and incorporating endowment-focused work into that of other student organizations. Faculty and staff are also working on a document that will provide a framework for aligning mission and investments that will go to the President. They are also looking at ways the endowment relates to sustainability.


Last semester, students presented on the Wal-Mart gender discrimination proxy to their Trustees and convinced them to vote for the proxy and were told they would be interested in voting for similar proxies in the future. They still refused a committee, but agreed to let the students do what a committee would do and also let one of the treasurer's office personnel work more closely with them. They are now pursuing co-filing the same resolution.

Hampshire College:

Students are setting up a student-managed endowment and have some voice in the restructuring of their committee on investor responsibility and the new investment guidelines it will enforce. Students for Justice in Palestine is hosting a national conference for other student groups interested in pursuing divestment. more information at http://www.hsjp.org/.

Howard University:

Students are working to build greater cohesion and communication throughout the campus community, develop a student committee to represent student opinions on university investment decisions, open the campus federal credit union to students, and to encourage and advocate for student financial literacy.

Mt. Holyoke College:

Students involved in the community investment committee will be meeting with their Trustee investment committee this fall to discuss the ways they can increase transparency and incorporate responsible investment strategies into the college endowment.

Miami University-Ohio:

The student government vice president is preparing to present a proposal for a responsible investment policy to the appropriate decision-makers this fall. While he isn’t convinced he will win, he says “I do understand and represent the interests and concerns of 16,000 students.”

Middlebury College:

The advisory committee on socially responsible investing is currently working with Trustees to create an environmental choice fund and to develop a responsible investment policy with their external fund manager. They are also working to inform and engage the student body in investment decisions.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

The MIT Executive Committee has determined they do not want to make the Advisory Committee for Social Responsibility a permanent committee but does want it to remain open as a venue for expressing concerns. The current compromise is for all concerns to go through the MIT Corporation Joint Advisory Committee on Institute-Wide Affairs, http://web.mit.edu/corporation/additional/cjac.html, composed of students, faculty, and alumni that has the power to convene the ACSR.

New York University:

Last year’s occupiers, Take Back NYU, are now working to develop internal alignment around campaign goals. Students with the Sustainability Task Force are currently working to introduce sustainable investing to campus investment practices.

Sarah Lawrence:

Last year the student government was able to successfully negotiate full disclosure of endowment investments and the creation of a committee of students, faculty, and staff to advise on responsible investment issues. This fall students are developing and implementing this policy.

Tufts University:

Students at Tufts for Investor Responsibility (STIR) are still pushing the school to live up to its original commitment to responsible investment by empowering the advisory committee on shareholder responsibility with proxy voting powers and the representation of stakeholders from across the campus community. The committee has also undergone a transition to new student membership and is currently developing sustainability focused proxy voting guidelines.

University of California:

UC-Responsible Investment Coalition members are still working to develop advisory committees on investor responsibility at each campus within the UC system, focusing on UCLA, UCI, and Berkeley first. They are also working to introduce ESG proxy voting guidelines to the full system-wide endowment.

University of Michigan:

Students at Ann Arbor are negotiation to add ESG criteria to existing proxy voting guidelines. Students at Dearborn continue to push for greater transparency and a responsible investment policy.

University of Vermont:

Student government officials were recently appointed to a subcommittee the Trustees dedicated to considering responsible investment. After attending the REC conference in Philly they plan to take back what they learned from other schools’ policies to frame their discussion.

Washington University-St. Louis:

Students continue to advocate for greater transparency around investment decisions and to draw student attention to the issue by focusing on coal and climate issues related to the endowment. They seek not only access to investment information but also institutionalized student oversight in the form of a committee.

Wayne State University:

Students with “As Soon As Possible” are seeking divestment from Marathon Oil Corporation, a local polluter, and reinvestment in sustainable green community enterprises. They are also seeking new investment guidelines for managers that are created with input from students, faculty, and the campus community.


The student government just moved about $42,000 from their cash into a green fund. They are also developing greater transparency and access to the portfolio for community members, a balance of ethics, profit, and the interest of trustees, administrators, and students, and to streamline processes and develop sustainable long term resolution to existing issues.


Students with the Responsible Endowment Project created a report, available at www.responsibleendowment.com. Students with the Dwight Hall SRI Fund recently made an initial investment in a community bank and are currently researching market driven investment opportunities.

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