Some of the main points in the petition include the need for transparency regarding current investments, halting and then divesting from any investments in fossil fuels, and building transparency and partnership into the structure of future investments, giving students a voice in the University’s investment process. While transparency regarding investments and participatory models of investment decision making may not seem immediately connected to fossil fuel divestment, these metrics included in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education STAR’s system for evaluating achievements in sustainability at Universities, as sustainability includes dimensions of social engagement, participation, inclusion, and justice. Michigan Tech is home to an Applied Portfolio Management Program within the College of Business as well as an degree program in Sustainability, Science, and Society and multiple Enterprise groups related to sustainability – these are all examples of students on campus who could benefit directly from learning about investment management processes that are socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable for the long term health of the planet (and the long term success of institutions of higher education).
This petition is just one recent example of student leadership at Michigan Tech in the domain of sustainability. Students across campus are interested in using their educational experiences to make real world change, within the institution and across our local community and beyond. Thank you for your leadership, Keweenaw Youth for Climate Action and students across campus who are championing sustainability through direct action and engagement!