Alumni Petition: Supporting Divest Whitman
As an alum, your voice matters to Whitman. Please sign on to this petition that asks the Board of Trustees to comply with the demands of Divest Whitman to ensure our college removes support from outdated, dirty fossil fuels.
Dear Whitman College Board of Trustees,
We, concerned Alumni of Whitman College, stand in full, unified support of the divestment of the college’s endowment from fossil fuels, as stated on page 17 of the unanimously passed ASWC Resolution SRS15.4. We stand united with the student campaign, Divest Whitman, to accomplish this goal. [1]

As the college mission states, Whitman encourages creativity, character, and responsibility in all aspects, which powers this call from alumni to the Board to immediately meet the demands of Divest Whitman.

-- We call for the Board of Trustees to foster a safe, livable environment for all future Whitman students, faculty, and staff and their families. Climate change poses an unprecedented and severe threat to the safety of our communities, the stability of our shared environment, and the success of the college’s mission. With cities across the nation suffering from drought and flood and our own Walla Walla under more threat from wildfire spurred by climate change than ever before, now is the time to uphold your responsibility to act in the best interest of the college.

-- We call for removal of financial support for fossil fuel industries, which spend billions of dollars perpetuating climate catastrophe by lobbying against legislation and funding public misinformation campaigns. Currently, the college is knowingly financing companies which power corrupt and polluting systems that increase rates of deaths caused by air pollution, that displace at-risk communities, and that oppress clean energy advancements and job creation.

-- We call for honest, transparent leadership from the college by matching the written commitment to sustainability with actionable progress. Fossil fuel divestment and campus sustainability are necessary, complementary strategies. Internationally, institutions including colleges, non-profit and for-profit organizations, faith-based groups, governmental organizations, and others with assets totaling approximately $3.4 trillion have already or are in the process of divesting from the fossil fuel industry. Whitman is quickly being left behind in this movement and deceitfully presents itself as a responsible institution. [2]

In addition to this fundamental ask of increased responsibility, we would like to put our weight behind two supplemental requests to reach the demands of Divest Whitman and supporting alumni.

-- We maintain that Divest Whitman has presented sufficient, well-researched, and persuasive data to deserve agreement to the terms of divestment. We do not believe the Board of Trustees’ formal response to Divest Whitman sufficiently addresses the factual and logical arguments presented. The pairing of overwhelming student and faculty support for divestment along with the sweeping movement of institutions provide grounds for deeper evaluation of Whitman’s environmental values and actions. This decision should be thoroughly reconsidered.

-- We applaud the Board’s decision to create a Divestment Policy Working Group to determine what kind of moral and social concerns should be considered when investing the college’s assets. We implore the Divestment Working Group to take these moral and social concerns seriously. We hope the group delivers a robust, practical, and just divestment policy framework without delay.

We greatly appreciate your continued consideration of this urgent, important issue. Whitman must demonstrate it is an institution of moral and intellectual leadership. We value the unique experiences and opportunities Whitman provided for all of us and we hope to deepen our commitment to and pride in this institution.


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