Follow the Money

DIVEST THE REST.jpg

April 13th, 2016

WHEREAS Georgetown University is a leading Jesuit institution with a proven commitment to social justice, environmental sustainability, and education for generations to come, STUDENTS DEMAND that the following be implemented within the next nine months:

  1. The creation and development of a University-wide socially responsible investment (SRI) policy, which details:
    1. The Jesuit and social justice values by which investment decisions should be evaluated;
    2. The decision-making SRI bodies within the University, such as the Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR) and the Board of Directors’ SRI Working Group and the Board Subcommittee on Investments;
    3. Means by which members of the Georgetown community can bring possibly harmful investments to the attention of said bodies for consideration of engagement or divestiture;
    4. A public list of companies, industries, or practices that the University refuses to invest in based on our Catholic and Jesuit mission (to follow the example of Amherst College);
    5. A list of practical, proactive steps that said bodies should take in order to evaluate social or environmental harms when brought to the respective group’s attention;
    6. A list of practical, proactive steps that said bodies should take in order to combat social and environmental harm, such as proxy voting, letters to the offending corporations, etc.;
    7. A list of conditions to inform the appropriateness of divestiture from any given company or industry, similar to the following:
      1. Divestiture if divestment will have a positive impact toward correcting the specified social harm, or when the company in question contributes to social harm so grave it would be inconsistent with the goals and principles of the University to accept funds from that source (to follow the example of Brown University);
      2. The proposed divestiture must prove broad Georgetown community support, shareholder engagement should be proven to be unproductive, and divestment must be accompanied by other measures (to follow the example of Columbia University).
    8. A communications plan by which CISR and the Board SRI Committee can communicate with the Georgetown community about SRI considerations and decisions.

2. The institutionalization of the Board of Directors’ SRI Working Group to ensure its permanence, including:

    1. Incorporation of appointed students and faculty members onto Working Group;
    2. Reports from the Working Group each semester on the state of socially responsible investments at Georgetown and concerns from the community.

3. Evaluation and reconstruction of the Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR), including:.

  1. The provision of more information about Georgetown’s endowment to the members of CISR, such as information about mutual funds and direct investments, so as to empower them to make proactive decisions;
  2. The rewriting of CISR’s Charter to emphasize that CISR should focus on ethical and moral issues, not financial issues (to follow the example of Columbia University);
  3. The establishment of rules that CISR must have two meetings of the each semester;
  4. The establishment of term limits for the Chair and other members of CISR;
  5. The establishment of a once-per-semester opportunity for other Georgetown community members to voice concerns about SRI they may have to CISR (to follow the example of Yale University);
  6. The development of a list of proactive ways in which CISR may engage with concerning corporations and industries, such as formal letters of inquiry, making issues known to the public, sending representatives to shareholders’ meetings, the writing of proxy recommendations especially alongside other Catholic and Jesuit institutions, formal letters of protest, divestiture from said companies, and any other measures the Committee deems likely to be constructive (to follow the example of Brown University);

 

4. Development of an Investment Transparency page within investments.georgetown.edu, including:

  1. The publication of the University SRI Policy detailed in Point 1;
  2. The listing of upcoming meetings of CISR and the Board SRI Working Group with indication of meetings at which the public may present to each respective committee;
  3. The publication of the membership, respective charters, and meeting summaries of CISR and the Board SRI Working Group;
  4. A page to disclose any connections between investment choices at Georgetown and personal connections within the Board of Directors, Investment Office, major donors, etc. and any lobbying expenditure information should be publically available (to follow the example of Carleton College).

 

Signed,

Georgetown Against Gun Violence

Georgetown University Amnesty International

Georgetown University Fossil Free

Georgetown H*yas for Choice

Georgetown Israel Alliance

Georgetown Refugee Action

Georgetown Secular Student Alliance

Georgetown Solidarity Committee

Georgetown Students for Justice in Palestine

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FOLLOW THE MONEY RALLY

APRIL 13, 2016

 

Georgetown currently does not have a clear policy about what companies are unacceptable to invest in. Numerous other universities do.

GU Fossil Free is joining up with other student groups to demand that Georgetown’s investments align with its morals. We are insisting that the Board of Directors new Socially Responsible Investments Committee establish a University policy that includes moral guidelines for our investments.

This is an ACTION-BASED, not an ISSUE-BASED rally and set of demands. The point of Follow the Money is not to dictate what the University should put in its investment policy. It is to say that the University should have one, period–and that students should be engaged in the process of its creation and implementation.

ALLIED STUDENT GROUPS**
Georgetown University Amnesty International
Georgetown Students for Justice in Palestine
Georgetown Israel Alliance
Georgetown Solidarity Committee
Georgetown Against Gun Violence
Georgetown Secular Student Alliance
Georgetown Refugee Action
H*yas for Choice

STAY TUNED for more info, and let us know if your group would be interested in co-hosting.

Keep track of us with #FollowTheMoney and #OurEndowmentOurFuture

**We understand that there are conflicting viewpoints within the allies. The purpose of co-sponsorship and allyship is NOT necessarily endorsement. However, even if we have different interests and issues, we can all agree that Georgetown should prioritize creating an investment policy like this.

 

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