Written by Gabe Dunsmith, student organizer with Divest Vassar College; Re-posted from WeArePowerShift.org
Vassar's divestment team gathers after a meeting with trustees!

Divest VC, Vassar’s fossil fuel divestment campaign, is pleased to finish the school year with a stunning series of accomplishments. As finals were finishing on campus, Divest VC was ramping up its campaign to the next level: the last few weeks of the school year saw a meeting with the chair of Vassar’s Trustee Investor Responsibility Committee (TIRC), as well as a huge push for divestment among Vassar’s faculty (see letter below).

Our accomplishments for the 2012-2013 school year have managed to gather massive student support for divestment, build a strong and well-connected campaign, and bring Vassar’s powers-that-be (including administrators and trustees) into conversations about fossil fuel divestment. This past year, Divest VC has

  • gathered over 500 student signatures in support of divestment from the fossil fuel industry
  • presented our proposal to the Campus Investor Responsibility Committee (CIRC)
  • met with both President Catharine Bond Hill and Acting President Jon Chenette regarding divestment
  • held a teach-in on divestment with presentations from several professors and a personal video from 350.org’s Bill McKibben
  • passed a Vassar Student Government resolution in support of divestment with an overwhelming 23-1 vote
  • met with VC’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Bill Plapinger
  • Held a 60-student rally in front of Vassar’s Alumnae House at the Board of Trustees’ March meeting
  • met with Christiana Wood, chair of the Trustee Investor Responsibility Committee (TIRC)

Though Vassar’s Campus Investor Responsibility Committee (CIRC) ultimately rejected fossil fuel divestment at the end of the year, divestment is on their radar–and this movement is far from over. In fact, Divest VC will only gain steam as we move ahead and rally our community around divestment from the dirtiest coal, oil, and natural gas companies around.

And in a beautiful end-of-year accomplishment, 17 faculty signed onto a letter in support of divestment. They questioned the Vassar administration’s rejection of divestment and highlighted–very aptly–that it is Vassar’s moral duty to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Divest VC owes a tremendous thank-you to our supportive professors!

Check out this amazing letter from faculty!