To: President David Van Zandt and the Board of Trustees
The New School: Divest From Fossil Fuels!
*** Below please find the text of the two resolutions that the University Student Senate passed in support for Fossil Fuel Divestment at The New School. Please sign this petition to show support for these USS resolutions, the Climate Change Action Plan proposed by The Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility, and Fossil Fuel Divestment at The New School! ***
To all New School students,
The University Student Senate was created to express the concerns of the student body to The New School Administration. Our duty is to ensure that the actions taken by the administration accurately reflect the beliefs, values, and needs of the students it aims to serve.
In this light, the University Student Senate calls on The New School’s Board of Trustees to approve the Climate Change Action Plan proposed by The Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility. As a university which touts sustainability as one of its core focuses, and climate change as the issue of our time, it is imperative that we “put our endowment money where our mission is”. Divestment is a key step on the path towards a fossil free future, and if The New School wishes to remain a leader in progressive education and values – we must act now.
Fossil fuel divestment will not remain a progressive idea for much longer as the movement has already spread to over 300 campuses nationwide, and 3 universities have already publicly divested from fossil fuels. The New School however, would be the largest by a wide margin, and news of our action would reach the ears of every climate-conscience student around the globe – the very students we seek to invite to our campus.
Why is this important?
The New School University Student Senate aims to represent the voice of the student body to the best of our ability, to present to the administration and the Board of Trustees the concerns on the mind of students today. This can take the form of expressing concerns about the proliferation of unpaid internships, tuition hikes, student representation in the administration matters, the need to address student debt, or here, the important issues of the environmental destruction and global climate change.
The students of today have a strong ecological awareness, and they want to see their university’s practices and investments reflect these principles of environmental sustainability. By divesting its endowment from fossil fuel companies, The New School is putting itself on the right side of history and what’s best for the planet.
WHEREAS, In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New School University Student Senate acknowledges that global climate change is the critical issue of our time and that energetic steps must be taken to address it.
WHEREAS, The New School has taken a strong stand of principle to be environmentally sustainable and ecologically conscious in its practices.
WHEREAS, Global climate change is caused by humans, primarily through usage of fossil fuels and other CO2 emitting processes. That those companies who are engaging in the business of fossil fuel extraction, refinement, production and consumption have a vested interest in continuing its exploitation and should be therefore seen as a principle obstacle in humanity addressing global climate change.
WHEREAS, There is a global movement of environmentally conscious universities, individuals and pension funds to divest their holdings from fossil fuel companies and those companies who profit from the continued emission of global warming gasses.
BE IT RESOLVED, the University Student Senate is in favor of The New School staying true to its sustainability principles and divesting its endowment away from all fossil fuel companies.
BE IT RESOLVED, the USS demands that the Board of Trustees and administration take immediate steps to divest from fossil fuel companies, and ensure that The New School remains a leader at the cutting edge of university environmental sustainability.
BE IT RESOLVED, the USS encourages the whole New School community, students, staff and faculty, to educate themselves about the issues surrounding fossil fuel divestment and assist us in pressuring the Board of Trustees to comply with the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility’s recommendations.