EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE STUDENTS LAUNCH NEW CAMPAIGN TO HONOR STUDENT VOTES
Campaign demands Evergreen administration implement overwhelming student votes to ban Caterpillar, Inc products and divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation
On June 13th, 2014, members of TESC DIVEST! at The Evergreen State College launched a new campaign at their school’s graduation ceremony. A banner was dropped and graduates held up signs calling for Evergreen to ban Caterpillar, Inc. products because of their use in violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli military. The demand to ban Caterpillar was the focus of one of two resolutions students and student government overwhelmingly supported in 2010, but that the administration has refused to implement since. The other resolution demanded that Evergreen no longer invest money in companies profiting from the illegal occupation, either from its own endowment or from the private endowment established by the college.
"Evergreen, it's time, CAT out of Palestine,
The graduation action marks a renewed call for the college administration to honor the student body’s call to ban Caterpillar and divest from the occupation. While the administration has found numerous obstacles to place in the path of students looking to stand for human rights, students still have several avenues open to them. First, investment decisions about the portion of Evergreen’s endowment held by the college itself are open to student pressure. In an attempt to mollify students in 2011, the administration put this endowment in the control of a “socially responsible” investment fund and allowed for some student participation in decision making. While this socially responsible fund continues to invest in occupation-related companies, and students have been discouraged from participating, the administration’s decision has still given students a valuable tool which they intend to pursue.
With these clear objectives in mind, students have launched this energetic new campaign to hold the administration accountable to the values of Evergreen’s students.