MCSG approves divestment proposal

By Peter Wright

In a unanimous vote of present members, the Sudan divestment proposal received the endorsement of the Macalester College Student Government at Tuesday night’s Legislative Body meeting.The measure, which calls for Macalester to not invest in businesses listed as financially supporting the violence in Darfur, passed 22-0, with four LB members absent from the meeting. Following the measure’s successful vote, most of the LB members applauded its success.

Last week, The Mac Weekly reported that Craig Aase, Macalester’s chief investment officer, said that the college doesn’t directly invest in any companies that fund the Sudanese government. However, Capital International, an external fund Macalester currently invests in, has one stock, worth $75,000, which benefits the Sudanese government.

There was no debate on the issue before the vote, except for one clarification on details.

MCSG President Franz Meyer ’08 cautioned that because the effort involves moving the college’s money, the vote’s effects might seem delayed.

Sandy Robson ’08, the chief organizer behind the proposal, said that she was very happy it passed. Robson also praised the members of the MCSG for carefully weighing the proposal from as many angles as possible.

“I’m glad that everyone was so thoughtful in their consideration,” she said.

Robson said she has been working on the project for several months. Just before the LB moved to vote on the proposal, Representative Andrew Mirzayi ’10 praised Robson for her efforts, prompting applause from many people on the board. Several members also congratulated Robson after the meeting.

Representative Terrance Steinberg ’11, who helped in authoring the legislation, said that he was glad to see so much support for the divestment proposal.

“I think it’s great that the students are behind this,” he said.

Even now the bill still has a ways to go. The Social Responsibility Committee will now put it to a vote. If it passes there, it will then go for final approval to President Brian Rosenberg.