Two weeks ago, at the Town Hall, we, the student body, made Olin history. At Olin’s first-ever social referendum, 93% of the student body voted “yes” to divest and disclose.
- Are you in favor of calling on Olin to divest from fossil fuel companies and reinvest in sustainable businesses, industries, and funds?
- Are you in favor of calling on Olin to disclose the endowment’s exposure to fossil fuel companies on a regular basis?
This town hall is the first time that we, the students, have collectively expressed our voice through a democratic process we designed. In a young, maturing institution, we are setting a precedent.
This is a monumental achievement. Many other colleges weren’t able to get above 80% support: at Harvard, for example, 72% of the student body voted for fossil fuel divestment back in 2013. Our vote demonstrates the overwhelming support of Olin students for this critical effort, and CORe will send an official recommendation to the Board of Trustees with these numbers that show our resounding consensus.
As Gilda announced on the day of the Town Hall, the Board has now formed a committee to discuss divestment. The student representatives for this committee—nominated by CORe—are Olivia Chang and Tyler Ewald, and the committee will be having its first meeting on December 13. This new committee is important progress towards divestment, and we are optimistic that it will spur both conversation and meaningful action: the committee is preparing a proposal for the Board to vote on during its February meeting.
We thank you – fellow Olin students – for your support. Your questions, your solidarity, and your demonstrated commitment to fighting the climate crisis are why divestment is moving forward. As members of the community, you have the unique privilege to shape how seriously our school takes our stated commitments to sustainability, equity, and justice. A lot of important work has been done in the past twenty years of our school, but more remains to be done.
We hope you join us in our efforts to move Olin towards a just and sustainable future. Climate justice can’t wait.