MUSG removes divestment clauses from investment recommendation

MUSG removes divestment clauses from investment recommendation

Marquette Student Government passed a recommendation on the floor calling for more socially responsible investments by the university, while removing all language regarding divestment.

The legislation was passed after an executive session was called into action by the senate. Its name was changed from Socially Responsible Investments and Divestments to Socially Responsible Investments.

Removed are several defining clauses that mention divesting or screening out companies that act against Marquette’s values. The changes remove any reference to companies that are complicit with human rights violations and the organizations that cite them.

The changes also remove proposed clauses that recommended the university “engage in responsible investments from companies that insures the well-being of its employees, respects their right to a living wage and a safe work environment.”

A recommendation that Marquette “dissociate itself from companies that engage or aid in systematic prejudiced oppression, whether this system targets people based on their religion, nationality, gender, race or orientation, by divesting from any companies that participate in or profit from human rights violations,” was also removed from the legislation.

Senator Zachary Bowman, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, invited the concerned students present at the meeting to a closed discussion. The proposition was voted down and all non-MUSG members were asked to leave the room for the discussion and debate of the recommendation.

Students for Justice in Palestine President Rawan Atari, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she is disappointed in the senate with the results of the meeting.

“Not only did they vote in their personal interest, they shut us out and did not allow us to hear the debate,” Atari said. “Not only that, but stripped it of anything that really made it a divestment bill and with that they took away our voices as students.”

As defined by the MUSG Governing Documents, “those present shall be the MUSG Senate and any people invited by the Senate and approved by three-fourths affirmative vote of the present Senate to be present during executive session.”

The meeting was called into an executive session after MUSG President Zack Wallace, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, revealed a document that had been circulating campus. It contains personal information about MUSG senators.

“This document is a list of each of you (senators) individually, with your name, picture, as well as other personal information including your religious and political beliefs,” Wallace said. “This document also has assignments and plans of action to solicit your support for a particular topic.”

Wallace said the Office of Student Affairs will be conducting an investigation regarding the document.

“I further believe that you have the right to see this information, what has been written about you and shared with other students, whether it is true or otherwise,” Wallace said. “The Office of Student Affairs will be conducting an investigation into this matter and that is why I ask that no photos be taken and only senators’ eyes see the document.”

SJP Vice President Leeane Othman, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she was frustrated with waiting outside the room during the debate and discussion. Atari said this would not be the end of SJP’s campaign for Marquette to divest.