As public pressure to confront the climate crisis builds, we—members of the Tiger community and San Antonians—call on President Danny Anderson and the Board of Trustees to:
Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies;
Divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds;
Disclose all financial holdings in the endowment portfolio to the public; and
Enact a socially responsible investment policy democratically proposed, deliberated, and approved by Trinity University’s students, alumni, faculty, workers, staff, and trustees*.
We believe that divestment from fossil fuels—selling off all assets tied to coal, oil, and natural gas companies—will not only be a sound decision for the health of our institution’s endowment, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve to graduate with a future free from climate chaos and destruction. We also believe this action is necessary to realize Trinity University’s core value of “honoring the dignity and worth of every person,” including the vulnerable members of society who suffer most from climate change.
Institutions, such as our own, have been judged poorly by history for standing idly by during the divestment movement that defeated South African Apartheid. Now, we have another opportunity to send a clear, moral message on behalf of current and future generations: that it is reprehensible to profit off the destruction of our planet’s natural systems and therein the devastation of millions upended from their homes and deprived of basic needs, prosperous futures, and the right to life.
Over the last several years, institutions with portfolios worth trillions of dollars in the aggregate have divested from fossil fuels, with corporations, governments, non-profit organizations, pension-funds, and universities divesting their assets. This has weakened fossil fuel companies’ public image and financial strength. Coal, oil, and natural gas have wreaked less havoc on our climate than otherwise possible, and public urgency for a rapid transition to renewable energy has increased. Trinity University’s divestment from fossil fuels would bolster this positive trend. Therefore, we believe it is morally obligatory that the Board of Trustees deliver on this front.
From South African Apartheid to today's climate crisis, a vital question has been raised: why should institutions invest their money in a moral vacuum, incomparable with the values of communities they claim to represent? To correct this prevailing injustice, we ask that Trinity University join "civilized" institutions and embrace something called democracy. After disclosing all financial holdings in the endowment portfolio, we demand that all of Trinity's students, alumni, faculty, workers, staff, and trustees be granted one vote in an election to enact a socially responsible investment policy that reflects our values.
*The socially responsible investment policy shall be decided democratically by the Trinity University Community—as defined here as Trinity’s students, alumni, faculty, workers, staff, and trustees. Thus, the Board of Trustees shall be responsible for facilitating the following tasks in this order:
Permanently disclose the endowment portfolio to the public to ensure democratic transparency and accountability.
Assemble an independent electoral oversight committee of two members each from the Student Government Association (SGA), the Faculty Senate, the Board of Trustees, the Alumni Association Board (no Trustees), and a random selection among volunteering staff (no Trustees), responsible for fairly executing the democratic process with
Thoroughly notify all members of the Trinity University Community of the full democratic process of proposing, deliberating/campaigning, and voting on an investment policy to be enacted in its entirety by the Board of Trustees.
Thoroughly notify all members of the Trinity University Community of a process by which they can submit proposals of investment policies that have accumulated sufficient support from Trinity University Community members.
Provide all members of the Trinity University Community sufficient time to deliberate and fairly campaign on behalf of investment policies while thoroughly notifying all members of the proceeding voting period.
Provide all members of the Trinity University Community multiple days to vote—confidentially and free from corruption—on two matters:
A “Yes” or “No” vote on the question, “Should Trinity University adopt a socially responsible investment policy?”
ranked choice vote
of all published policy proposals, with the winning (most preferred) policy proposal to be fully enacted by the Board of Trustees on the condition that a majority vote “Yes” for 6-1.