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May 3, 2015

fossil fuel industry lobbying group praises Swarthmore for refusing to divest

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/3/swathmore-college-rejects-divesting-from-fossil-fu/

https://swarthmorephoenix.com/2015/09/24/giving-a-gold-star-for-all-the-wrong-reasons/

https://wagingnonviolence.org/2015/05/swarthmore-rejects-student-calls-for-divestment-shows-whose-side-its-own/

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April 29, 2004

Swarthmore celebrates the success of shareholder activism and offers a revisionist history of the ban

https://sites.sccs.swarthmore.edu/divestmentdocuments/2020/10/05/college-pursues-socially-responsible-investing-by-alex-kalkstein-2004/

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June 11, 2018

Swarthmore rejects the student referendum demanding an end to the 1991 ban

https://www.swarthmore.edu/news-events/response-to-investment-policy-referendum

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April 22, 2015

seven Swarthmore professors send a proposal for a partial fossil fuel divestment option to the Board

from SCRIBD: “During a 32-day student sit-in at Swarthmore College (see http://bit.ly/swatdiveststory) in the spring semester of 2015, a group of faculty developed a proposal and paper that the faculty at large and the Board of Managers considered. The faculty passed a resolution calling for divestment of separately managed funds from the Carbon Underground list of 200 fossil fuel companies holding the largest reserves. The Board of Managers met on May 1-2, 2015 and rejected all divestment proposals.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/265659814/Swarthmore-College-faculty-fossil-fuel-divestment-proposal-and-paper

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January 22, 2019

alumni start Israel divestment campaign

https://swarthmorephoenix.com/2009/01/22/israeli-divestment/

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January 20, 2005

Sudan divestment campaign

https://sites.sccs.swarthmore.edu/divestmentdocuments/2020/10/05/sudan-group-expands-presence-beyond-campus-by-benjamin-bradlow-2005-2/

https://swarthmorephoenix.com/2009/01/22/israeli-divestment/

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December 5, 2002

Don’t Buy Into Divest-From-Israel Campaigns

https://sites.sccs.swarthmore.edu/divestmentdocuments/2020/10/05/dont-buy-into-divest-from-israel-campaigns-by-randy-goldstein-2002/

Try to find a different, pro divestment source!! Also, get the scan up of the article anyway.

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February 1, 2001

College Should Divest From Arms Manufacturing

https://sites.sccs.swarthmore.edu/divestmentdocuments/2020/10/05/college-should-divest-from-arms-manufacturing-by-jonah-eaton-david-kamin-and-dann-naseemullah-2001/

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November 7, 1997

Conscious Consumers call for a committee to advise the Board on socially responsible investing

The student group attempted to form the committee after it discovered several unethical firms in which the endowment was invested. This included $12 in the tobacco industry and $3.2 in Disney, which contracts international sweatshops.

The fact that Conscious Consumers could find out where the endowment was invested and how much money went to each sector is significant. Swarthmore will no longer disclose the amount of money invested in particular industries.

Also significant was the group’s discovery of the ban on ethical divestment and the explanation Swarthmore offered for the ban at the time. A Phoenix article from the time reports:

Conscious Consumers is also questioning one of the mandatory guidelines included in the Endowment Presentation to the Board of Managers. Section VII of the book states, “As a matter of policy, the Investment Committee manages the endowment to yield the best long term financial results, rather than pursue long-term objectives.” But Suzanne Welsh asserts that although the guideline exists, it does not preclude social objectives from being pursued in addition to financial objectives. However, the evaluation of these objectives would have to be a decision made by the entire community, not by the Investment Committee alone. “The guideline was created because it is not the Investment Committee’s job to make the decision of which social objectives to pursue. This is simply a process statement,” said Welsh.

First, I want to note that the only publicly available copy of Swarthmore’s full investment policy is the document referenced by Conscious Consumers, which was written in 1997. And I only knew to search the archives for Endowment Presentation to the Board of Managers because it was referenced in this article. This should underline the difficulty members of the Swarthmore community face in trying to learn even the most basic information about the ban.

Second, Welsh’s comment completely undermines the way that the Board uses the ban today. According to her, the “ban” simply serves as a “process statement” by clarifying the responsibilities of the Investment Committee. When the policy says, “the Investment Committee manages the endowment to yield the best long term financial results, rather than to pursue other social objectives,” it only refers to the investment committee. The policy does not mean that the Investment Committee or the Board gets to overrule the rest of the Swarthmore community when the community wants divestment, as it so clearly does.

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October 14, 1993

Swarthmore seeks reinvestment in South Africa following the end of apartheid

In making the case for reinvestment in South Africa, President Al Bloom stated:

“As I expressed to the faculty and to the student body and to the Board, I believe the College should respond to Nelson Mandela’s call to begin again to invest in companies which do business in South Africa. Such a move would both be a visible sign of our support for the constructive directions which are being pursued in South Africa and would free the college to invest in ways it deems most appropriate to fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to guarantee the best education it can to this and future generations of students. The original decision to divest resulted form a community expression of moral outrage at the Apartheid system and I believe the decision to discontinue that divestment must also be a decision that represents the collective commitment of the the community.”

The ban on ethical divestment makes Bloom’s statement ring hollow. How could Swarthmore claim to “support” the post-apartheid government while maintaining a policy that would have kept the College invested in apartheid? How could the decision to reinvest represent “the collective commitment of the the community” if the community was kept in the dark about a policy banning divestment?