Divestment Campaign Pushes Vassar to Get Out of Fossil Fuels

The Vassar Greens’ Fossil Fools action saw Dick Cheneys passing out dirty dollars and hosted several speakers to talk about the importance of divestment.

The Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, which the Vassar Greens launched in September, is quickly gaining traction on campus.

On Tuesday, December 4th, Dick Cheneys marched through the Retreat passing out dirty dollars, and Vassar students and national environmental organizers spoke about climate change, Hurricane Sandy, the fossil fuel industry, and why it’s so important that Vassar divest. This action, called Fossil Fools, encourages Vassar to separate itself from coal, oil, and natural gas companies–the very companies polluting our air, water, and land, wrecking our climate, and endangering our future.

The Campaign is encouraging Vassar to fully divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. The endowment, which sits at over $800 million, is the College’s pool of assets that are held in the stock market and other funds. Unfortunately, Vassar–like so many other colleges across the country–invests in the fossil fuel industry, and is therefore profiting on practices like mountaintop removal, deep-sea oil drilling, and hydraulic fracturing.

The fossil fuel industry’s business model is one of destruction: as these energy corporations keep extracting coal, oil, and natural gas, climate change will only worsen. Super-storms like Hurricane Sandy could become a regular occurrence.

As youth activists, our goal is to prevent the total decimation of communities around the world from the fossil fuel industry’s abusive practices. And the best way to do that is to target the thing these companies care about the most: money.

Vibrant divestment campaigns are springing up all over the country, with Unity College and Hampshire College already voting to divest, and strong student-led efforts rising up at Harvard, Swarthmore, and Middlebury. The Vassar Greens stands in solidarity with its peer institutions, and is encouraging the College to lead the nation in a full divestment from fossil fuels.

Just yesterday, the New York Times ran a cover story on the college divestment movement.

Vassar’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign has met several times with Marianne Begemann, Dean of Strategic Planning, as well as Stephen Dahnert, Director of Investments, to discuss the Campaign’s proposal. The Campaign has also met with the Campus Investor Responsibility Committee (CIRC), the Student Life Committee of the Vassar Student Association (VSA), and has an upcoming meeting with President Catharine Bond Hill.

The Campaign has received endorsements from the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC), the Feminist Alliance, the Grassroots Alliance for Alternative Politics (GAAP), ProHealth, Vassar Democracy Matters, and the Vassar Young Democratic Socialists.

So join in and tell Vassar: we don’t want our money in the pockets of Halliburton, BP, Exxon, and Massey. It’s time to divest now.

Read about us in the Miscellany News here! http://www.miscellanynews.com/2.1578/greens-push-for-vc-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels-1.2800793

And visit the Campaign’s facebook page here! www.facebook.com/divestVC