FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In Regards to the Status of Our University’s Investments in the Companies Outlined in UMN Divest
Our Divestment campaign calls on the University to consider its investments in four companies: Raytheon, Caterpillar, G4S, and Elbit Systems. These four companies profit off of the occupation in providing tools that enable Israeli occupation of Palestinian people and continuous violations of human rights. This occupation is condemned under international law.
The goal of UMN Divest is to get our University to take an active role in ensuring that we are not complicit in these human rights violations. We want to get the conversation started on campus and we want our administration to work with its students to be more transparent in what our school is invested in.
We are happy to say that we are seeing clear signs that UMN Divest is working. We were recently contacted by the University Investments Office. They requested to meet with us after we had launched our UMN Divest campaign. At the meeting, they gave us more transparent information regarding our chosen companies. They confirmed to us that it is possible that we are indirectly invested in Raytheon and Caterpillar through the Blackrock mutual fund. They also informed us that we are not invested in G4S and Elbit.
This information was not publicly available when we wrote our resolution, nor easily accessible when we launched. It is assuring that we are not directly invested in any of the companies that we are targeting. With this new information from the Investments Office, we are now are able to adjust our demands to be able to campaign more accurately.
UMN Divest is still moving forward, calling an end to indirect investments in Raytheon and Caterpillar. We also want our University to ensure that there will be no future investments in G4S and Elbit.
It took a whole student-led campaign to get the administration’s attention before they started practicing transparency with the student body in regards to their investments. Nonetheless, we look forward to continuing to work with Administration to move towards a completely socially responsible investments portfolio. We see this as a step in the right direction and we hope that our University continues to work with students to ensure that we are not complicit in the occupation and violations of international law.