Discuss divestment!

Communicating the importance of divestment and spreading awareness of the divestment campaign broadly is essential for building a spirit of change in our community. Success depends on you asking your Whitman classmates for their support, so please do so today!

  • Spread the word! Email your peers from Whitman to encourage their support of divestment. Ask them to visit this site and donate to the REF instead of directly to Whitman using this template.
  • Write a personal letter to Whitman administrators, the Board of Trustees, or any personal contacts you have at Whitman expressing your support for divestment.
  • Contact Divest Whitman campus organizer Mitchell Cutter to offer relevant skills or expertise  at cuttermm@whitman.edu.
  • Like Divest Whitman on Facebook and follow them on Twitter: @Divest_Whitman with the hashtag #missionforchange

Every contact you have with the college is also an opportunity to build momentum for the campaign, whether it is written correspondence, a phone call or in-person conversation. For example, when the office of annual giving calls, politely ask the person (usually a student worker) to pass along the message that you will be donating to Responsible Endowment Fund instead of directly to the college until the board commits to keeping fossil fuel exposure below 1%. If you have already donated, please let them know that, too.

Conversations with the alumni office or other administrators will also help build pressure on the board, so if you find yourself talking with any of these folks, please bring up divestment and the REF campaign, share your support, and ask for theirs. In fact, we encourage you to reach out to the college administration and board specifically for this conversation. Below are some quick tips for any of these communications and resources for reaching out.

Quick Tips

  • Clearly state your support for divestment.
  • Speak to the urgency of action to fight climate change, especially the climate justice imperative, and the cost of inaction.
  • Mention the passage of multiple ASWC resolutions and the overwhelming support of both the faculty and student body.
  • Note the deadlines (May 2016 and May 2017) for fund allocation.
  • Explain how by maintaining fossil fuel investments, the board is standing on the wrong side of history and directly contradicting the values of stewardship and leadership the college claims to embody and encourage.
  • Express concern that Whitman’s reputation as a leader in campus sustainability and environmentalism is on the line and continued hypocrisy will be increasingly detrimental to the entire community.