By Ben Hopper
A new bill to create a divestment task force was passed by the Ramapo student government association (SGA) on Monday, March 15. This bill, proposed by secretary of sustainability Zoë Tucker-Borrut and introduced by senate vice-president Nicholas Bykov, passed unanimously with a vote of 17-0-0 in favor of it.
Divestment is the act of shifting investments from going towards fossil fuels to being put towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives instead. Divestment brings many benefits with it, including working to combat climate change by eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Along with its environmentally conscious benefits, divestment has been shown to not bring any negative financial side effects with it.
In Tucker-Borrut’s presentation for divestment, she used a quote from environmentalist Bill McKibben to illustrate the importance of college’s getting involved with divestment, “If their college’s endowment is invested in fossil-fuel stock, then their educations are being subsidized by investments that guarantee that they won’t have much of a planet on which to make use of their degree.”
As well, Bykov has made clear the importance of divestment for colleges and Ramapo specifically, saying, “As the Climate Crisis continues to worsen, it is becoming more and more important that Colleges and Universities divest their fundings out of companies with ties to fossil fuels. Fossil fuels will only become more risky investments as time passes, while the world looks to green energy and sustainable initiatives as the future. Divestment is especially important for Ramapo College, as it would illustrate the College’s commitment to sustainability as is expressed in our mission statement.”
The divestment task force will be united by a singular goal. That being to divest the fund of the Ramapo College Foundation, shifting these investments away from fossil fuels. Aswell the divestment task force will work to create an investment strategy in one year in order to present it to the Board of Governors. The bill suggests that this investment strategy will work to be more financially beneficial than the investment strategy currently being considered by the board of directors.
The divestment task force will be formed after Summer and will hold meetings during both the Fall and Spring semesters.