On Friday, March 24th, FFY sent out a letter to the members of the Yale Corporation stating our hopes for cooperation this spring, and our willingness to take action without it. The letter, which you can read here, reiterates our ask that the Corporation respond to our latest proposal either by supporting divestment, or defending inaction, and also requests the University create an open meeting where students can present on University issues. We require a response from the Corporation by April 7th, and warned that we will escalate our actions if they do not.
Attached are some excerpts and a link to the letter.
FFY on why the Yale Corporation should have an open meeting:
“Fossil Free Yale has tried to engage with Yale’s administration through every established channel. When the ACIR asked us to draft a divestment proposal, we drafted a divestment proposal. When the ACIR asked us to hold a student referendum, we demonstrated that 83% of undergraduate students who voted on this issue support fossil fuel divestment. When the ACIR asked us to present new information, we drafted a new proposal, expanding on existing arguments. We have met with the ACIR countless times over the past three years, and yet we leave every meeting as confused about the inaction of the Yale Corporation as ever. We would like to engage productively with the administration on divestment, but thus far we have not been given the opportunity. The existing process keeps students far removed from those who actually make important decisions about the community we live in and care about. President Peter Salovey has repeatedly praised the student body for raising questions and starting difficult conversations on campus. But it’s impossible to have an authentic dialogue when student advocates are not allowed to meet with those who truly have decision making power: the Yale Corporation. A yearly open meeting would provide a platform for such engagement and would benefit both the Corporation and the student body by facilitating communication.”
And FFY reiterating why Yale must divest:
“The fossil fuel industry causes mass damage to human health and the environment through its contributions to climate change, harmful extraction and refinement processes, and campaigns to mislead the public and produce socially suboptimal governmental policy. These harms are inherent to the business model of fossil fuel companies, so shareholder engagement has limited potential to effect sufficient and lasting change. We, Fossil Free Yale, argue that divestment is the most effective response. By contributing to a global movement, divestment can influence a shift in governmental policy toward appropriate regulation of the fossil fuel industry. In the past, divestment movements have been proven effective when leading cultural institutions divest, as when Yale divested from South Africa in the 1980s.”
By Friday, April 7th, we ask that Yale reply to these asks. We hope that this spring will be a season of productive engagement, when the Yale Corporation and Fossil Free Yale can work together towards a more sustainable, ethical university and world
Read the whole letter here: LettertotheCorporation324