The Vermont Cynic

SGA Passes SCC’s Resolution to Divest

The Student Government Association (SGA) passed Student Climate Culture’s (SCC) resolution at their meeting tonight, sending a clear message to the University that they support divestment from fossil fuel companies.

The resolution calls for the University to liquidate all of its holdings from the top 200 fossil fuel companies as well as accounts invested in five percent or more of these companies by February 2017, the resolution stated.

“I am ecstatic,” club member Alex Prolman said. “If you look at how the first two meetings with SGA went, this never should have happened.”

Prolman said he and fellow club member Daniel Cmejla and Sen. Sam Ghazey had spent the weekend researching and preparing to present the resolution to SGA, which ended up passing by a vote of 23-9.

“I think it’s definitely a clear message,” SGA President Connor Daley said. “There were a lot of concerns expressed by the senate about the financial implications of this, but the fact that they were outweighed by socially responsible [concerns] tells you something.”

SCC has campaigned for fossil fuel divestment since the fall, working with organizations including Greenpeace and 350.org, which kicked off its “Do The Math” Tour at UVM Oct. 13, the Cynic reported. 

Cmejla said SCC was targeting Blackrock All-Cap Energy Fund, which invests almost exclusively in energy and resource companies, an Oct. 24 article stated.

Approximately 11.8 percent of the University’s endowment is currently invested in energy and petroleum corporations, according to figures released in 2011.

While SGA first denied the resolution submitted by SCC Dec. 2, President Daley said this version of the resolution passed because it was clearer and more to the point.

Despite its victory at tonight’s SGA meeting, SCC still has work to do if they want to see their resolution make it to the board of trustees.

“That’s where the next step comes in,” Prolman said, regarding the trustees’ public forum scheduled for Feb. 20. “The resolution does not literally have an impact.”

To help SCC’s campaign to reach the attention of the board, the club has been working with Claire Burlingham, the leader of the University’s Socially Responsible Investment Workgroup (SRIWG), Prolman said. 

SCC is hoping SRIWG will present SCC’s proposal to the board during their February meetings, he said. 

In the meantime, the club is holding a panel discussion with Burlingham and Vice President of Finance Richard Cate Feb. 6 to kick off its Ownership Reclamation Series.

SCC hopes this will open up dialogue with the administration, and the public is encouraged to attend, Prolman said. 

The discussion will be held in room 102 in the Aiken building at 4 p.m.

Ultimately, if the board passes SCC’s resolution, UVM will be the third school in the state to step up efforts for fossil fuel divestment. 

Middlebury College initiated a formal process to investigate divestment in early December, while Sterling College in Craftsbury voted to divest entirely from fossil fuel stocks Feb. 2.

For more information on SCC’s efforts, visit their Facebook page “UVM Divest Now”.

SGA Passes SCCs Resolution to Divest

The Student Government Association (SGA) passed Student Climate Cultures (SCC) resolution at their meeting tonight, sending a clear message to the University that they support divestment from fossil fuel companies.The resolution calls for the University to liquidate all of its holdings from the top 200 fossil fuel companies as well as accounts invested in five percent or more of these companies by February 2017, the resolution stated.I am ecstatic, club member Alex Prolman said. If you look at how the first two meetings with SGA went, this never should have happened.Prolman said he and fellow club member Daniel Cmejla and Sen. Sam Ghazey had spent the weekend researching and preparing to present the resolution to SGA, which ended up passing by a vote of 23-9.I think its definitely a clear message, SGA President Connor Daley said. There were a lot of concerns expressed by the senate about the financial implications of this, but the fact that they were outweighed by socially responsible [concerns] tells you something.SCC has campaigned for fossil fuel divestment since the fall, working with organizations including Greenpeace and 350.org, which kicked off its Do The Math Tour at UVM Oct. 13, the Cynic reported.Cmejla said SCC was targeting Blackrock All-Cap Energy Fund, which invests almost exclusively in energy and resource companies, an Oct. 24 article stated.Approximately 11.8 percent of the Universitys endowment is currently invested in energy and petroleum corporations, according to figures released in 2011.While SGA first denied the resolution submitted by SCC Dec. 2, President Daley said this version of the resolution passed because it was clearer and more to the point.Despite its victory at tonights SGA meeting, SCC still has work to do if they want to see their resolution make it to the board of trustees.Thats where the next step comes in, Prolman said, regarding the trustees public forum scheduled for Feb. 20. The resolution does not literally have an impact.To help SCCs campaign to reach the attention of the board, the club has been working with Claire Burlingham, the leader of the Universitys Socially Responsible Investment Workgroup (SRIWG), Prolman said.SCC is hoping SRIWG will present SCCs proposal to the board during their February meetings, he said.In the meantime, the club is holding a panel discussion with Burlingham and Vice President of Finance Richard Cate Feb. 6 to kick off its Ownership Reclamation Series.SCC hopes this will open up dialogue with the administration, and the public is encouraged to attend, Prolman said.The discussion will be held in room 102 in the Aiken building at 4 p.m.Ultimately, if the board passes SCCs resolution, UVM will be the third school in the state to step up efforts for fossil fuel divestment.Middlebury College initiated a formal process to investigate divestment in early December, while Sterling College in Craftsbury voted to divest entirely from fossil fuel stocks Feb. 2.For more information on SCCs efforts, visit their Facebook page UVM Divest Now.

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SGA Passes SCC’s Resolution to Divest