This is a contribution sent in by student group Divest for our Future. If you wish to publish an article or Op-Ed piece on MiddBlog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click “Read More” to see their full letter to President Liebowitz.
In response to questions about student groups taking action on divestment issues at Middlebury, we would like to introduce Divest for Our Future, a group composed of students of all years committed to making fossil fuel divestment a reality at Middlebury.
Divest for Our Future has focused this semester, and plans to continue focusing on educating ourselves and the student body and coordinating with schools whose endowments are also managed by Investure, Middlebury’s endowment manager. We have been working with the national movement led by Middlebury’s own Bill McKibben and 350.org.
We are also committed to dialogue with the administration and submitted the following proposal to President Liebowitz this fall.
We hope to engage all of the Middlebury community on this issue and continue the conversations begun this semester. Check out the proposal and come to an open meeting Tuesday, December 4th at 7pm in the Gifford Lecture Hall to learn more about the movement and discuss our path moving forward!
Letter submitted for consideration to President Ronald Liebowitz:
November 20, 2012
By Divest for Our Future
We are Divest for Our Future, a student group born out of the Socially Responsible Investment Club and Sunday Night Group.
We hope to work with Middlebury College’s administration and Investment Committee to act on Middlebury’s commitment to environmental leadership and divest our endowment from the 200 fossil fuel companies with the largest carbon reserves.
We believe that now is the time for Middlebury to take a stand, as the college has an unprecedented opportunity to lead the growing national divestment movement and effect change beyond our campus.
We praise the institution’s commitment to dedicate “intellectual and fiscal capital to responsibly engage in this paradigm shift away from our fossil fuel dependency,” and we recognize Middlebury’s past achievements in environmental leadership. Divestment is widely viewed as an effective tool in shaping public discourse and catalyzing larger change. Thus we believe fossil fuel divestment is the natural next step for Middlebury, as the power of the commitment to Carbon Neutrality would be magnified by an inclusion of our endowment in the calculation of our footprint. We hope to be able to celebrate a carbon-free endowment as well as a carbon neutral campus in 2016.
We ask that the Middlebury College Board of Trustees endorse a statement demonstrating the intention to work to divest our endowment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies. We recognize the importance of a pragmatic approach to endowment management and the complexities of divestment; therefore we ask for this statement to demonstrate Middlebury’s intention to lead the movement and begin work on the process of screening for the identified fossil fuel companies. We ask that this statement be made public following the February Board of Trustees meeting.
Respectfully submitted by the following Divest for Our Future members:
Luis Fernando Sandoval Jimenez
 “Middlebury College’s Commitment to Carbon Reduction,” endorsed by Middlebury College Board of Trustees, May 8, 2004.