Members of the Class of 2016 sent an email to their fellow graduates last month, calling on them to protest the Board’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels by withholding contributions to the traditional “class gift.” The result was the smallest class gift donation in recent memory, and a powerful rebuke to the college from its newly-minted alumni. Here is the text of their email:
Two years ago we posted the text of Dr. Loy’s speech on the occasion of the awarding of his degree. He spoke eloquently then about the moral obligation to engage in the ecological challenges of our time, and specifically called upon Carleton College to divest. The Board has refused. Here is the text of his letter delivered on Earth Day 2016.
January 11, 2016
An Open Letter to the Carleton Trustees: Divest From Fossil Fuels
Letter from Divest Carleton Students in response to Trustees’ 11/12/15 Memo to CRIC Regarding Divestment
We received this letter — which has already been sent to President Poskanzer — from the author, with permission to publish it. He has suspended his monthly contributions to Carleton, and taken the college out of his will, as a result of the Board of Trustees’ vote against divestment.
The alumni of Divest Carleton have sent this open response to the Board of Trustees regarding their vote to reject the recommendation of their responsible investing committee. (The student response will come at the beginning of Winter Term, and we will post it here then.)
If you are interested in signing on to this response, just indicate that in the comments section. As we use the response in future outreach, your name will be included.
The Carleton Responsible Investment Committee (CRIC) has finally issued its report to the Board of Trustees. It comes out clearly in favor of divestment of all of Carleton’s direct holdings in fossil fuel companies, and is important reading. No word yet on whether the BOT will take up the recommendations in the report at their October 22-24 meeting, but you can be sure we will be watching, and keeping you up to date.
Divest Carleton was honored to be asked to sign on to this letter to His Holiness, Pope Francis.
Most Holy Father,
We write to you as young people, as constituents of Jesuit institutions, other Catholic, Christian, and religious institutions, and non-religious institutions as people of goodwill, on behalf of an entire generation. We are standing on the precipice of climate catastrophe. Since the release of your encyclical “Laudato Si” in June, we have been inspired by your call for climate justice and the awakening of the Catholic and global community to the systemic causes of the climate crisis.
All across the world, people are taking divestment action as and where they can. Here’s a great blog about the recent action in Germany, Ende Gelande. (Here, and no further.)
“I’m so glad to see people drawing a firm line in the coalfields, and stopping the planet’s largest coal-digging machines. We’re driven not by ideology but by physics: there’s simply no way to burn all this lignite and keep the climate intact. These protesters are lifeguards for an endangered planet.”
I’m running and I’m running and I’m just one, just one amongst hundreds of people running to escape the batons and the pepper spray, running to break through the police line and run on and on across the field to the mine. But as we’re running and my legs are pumping and the adrenaline’s thumping I turn and see something that makes my blood turn cold and time stand still. I see a man made massive with body armour and a helmet and a baton, and I see him throw his shoulder back and form…
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(This letter was sent by one of Divest Carleton’s founding members to the Sierra Club regarding their recent ranking of ‘green colleges.’ )