Comments on the 2013 CRIC Survey of Campus Attitudes Submitted to CRIC by Brett Smith, Carleton ’64 on behalf of Divest Carleton February 3, 2014

NOTE: The report to which these comments respond will be found at https://apps.carleton.edu/governance/cric/surveyresults/2013/.

Introduction 

Divest Carleton appreciates this opportunity to comment on the recently released report on Carleton community attitudes and ideas regarding the activities of the Carleton Responsible Investment Committee (CRIC) and the management of the college endowment. Divest Carleton is an alumni group formed to move Carleton to divest from fossil fuel endowment holdings. Our group is part of a significant international divestment movement organized by 350.org. More information on these efforts will be found on our web site at www.divestcarleton.wordpress.com and at www.350.org.

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Foundations pull $1.8 Billion in investments from fossil fuel companies

Seventeen foundations have banded together to divest from companies that extract or transport fossil fuels.  Together, they control investments of $1.8 Billion.  The New York Times declared this to be a “significant victory” for the divestment movement.  Read the story here:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/dealbook/2014/01/29/foundations-band-together-to-get-rid-of-fossil-fuel-investments/?_php=true,true&_type=blogs,blogs&_r=1

Majority of Carleton students support divestment

Professor St Clair’s Statistics class at Carleton recently concluded a survey of interest in divestment among Carls, current and alums, as well as staff and faculty.  The results can be found at carleton.edu, but the take-away here is that 54% of current students support divestment.  And, while fewer alumni (32%) are shown to support divestment, two things need to be taken into account: no polling was done among alumni who graduated in 2010 or after (and more younger alumni seem to support divestment than do older alums); and the raw number of alumni surveyed was larger than the raw number of students.  Overall, we consider this survey — which was done before any major divestment campaign on campus — to be a positive reflection of the interest in seeing Carleton divest from fossil fuels.  As we work on the divestment campaign, we hope to see these numbers swell.

See the full survey report here: https://apps.carleton.edu/governance/cric/surveyresults/2013/.