Simon’s Letter

Dear Sir or Madam,


I write to you on behalf of the students of the University of York who are

organising a campaign opposing irresponsible investment by the University

in the arms trade. This campaign follows on from a campaign several years

ago, following the conclusion of which the University agreed to implement

an ethical investment policy which would see it withdraw from holding

shares in arms dealers and manufacturers. However the University has yet to

implement the drafted policy and over the past two years the University has

increased its holdings in arms companies by £350,000, demonstrating no

commitment to the policy agreed with students.


Of the nearly one million pounds the university has invested in the arms

trade over £700,000 is invested in BAE Systems which holds a notorious

record of corruption scandals and supplying weapons to regimes with abysmal

human rights records. In addition to this the University’s investment in

such companies seems to conflict with its stated commitment to the

“well-being of society” and its research in post-war reconstruction



Attached is a copy of an open letter expressing concern at the University’s

current share holdings and a call for the University to adopt an ethical

investment policy which would see that the University exists as a force for

good in the world, and that students and staff at the University of York do

not see portions of their tuition fees or pension funds going fuel world

conflicts or having derived from profiteering from those conflicts. We are

encouraging members of staff as well as student societies to sign this

letter, which will accompany a petition aimed at the broader student body.

If your union branch could sign this open letter your assistance and

solidarity would be greatly appreciated. Please could you also forward this

email to your members in the hope of demonstrating to the fullest degree

the opinion of the University staff on this issue.


Please send all signatures by email to including your name

(individual or branch) and department/position (for individuals). Feel free

to contact me if you require further information.


Yours Faithfully,

Simon Whitten



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