Big Things Happening at UNC!
The past few weeks have been extremely busy in the UNC Beyond Coal campaign, and in the best, most exciting ways! We’re making great strides.
Last week, a coal divestment referendum was approved by Student Congress to be voted on by the UNC student body in elections on Feb. 12. This referendum will allow students to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether or not they support our university divesting from coal. It will not hold the University accountable for the students’ decision, but it will raise the visibility of the issue and hopefully push them to divest from coal in the near future.
Just as exciting: we gained the endorsement of the Campus Y! As the biggest social justice organization on campus, the Campus Y took us on as one of their “Y Campaigns” for this semester. Our referendum campaign was also endorsed by UNC Young Democrats and two student body president candidates. Hopefully with so many big, influential and trusted organizations supporting us in our effort for environmental justice on our campus, we will eventually win this broader effort to bring sustainability to UNC’s endowment.
An article was also featured in The Daily Tar Heel online today about the referendum, our campaign, and our new supporters! We are very grateful to have such positive and supportive media attention drawn to us on campus. The article, written by the DTH’s Hunter Toro, says:
Anti-coal campaign makes headway
“The referendum, which will be on the Feb. 12 ballot, will gauge student opinion on endowment investment in coal in an effort to encourage administrative response to the subject.
“We wanted to do something that would give us more traction with the administrators,” said sophomore Jasmine Ruddy, the grassroots organizer for Beyond Coal. “That’s why we are using the referendum.”
Beyond Coal’s goal is to receive support for coal divestment — stopping the use of endowment funds for investing in coal-using companies. They are hoping for support from at least 50 percent of the student body with the referendum.”
“The University has an estimated $2.2 billion endowment to use at its discretion. As much as $100 million of that could be invested in the coal industry, Ruddy said.”
We would like to thank the DTH for their article, and their help in getting out the info about this referendum. If you want more information on the referendum, and how to vote on it (hopefully as a YES!) then check out our Facebook event, and say that you’ll Vote YES To Divest on February 12th!
Check out the SCR-94-162 Coal Divestment Referendum that was passed at UNC.
Section 1. The Board of Elections is hereby directed to place the following referendum on the 2013 Spring General Election ballot, presented exactly as follows:
“UNC-Chapel Hill has an endowment valued at $2.1 billion, which provides funding for University services such as scholarships and professorships. Currently, the UNC endowment includes investments in natural resources and energy, including coal.
UNC’s Sierra Student Coalition has been leading an effort on campus to divest UNC’s endowment from 15 major coal mining and coal-fired utility companies. More than 190 student-led groups at college campuses across the country are pushing their school’s endowments to divest from coal and other fossil fuel industries at this time.
Do you support UNC’s endowment removing its investments in coal over the next 5 years?”
The Board of Elections shall provide the options of “Yes” or “No” in response to the question on the ballot.”
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