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 firstname.lastname@example.org including your name
(individual or branch) and department/position (for individuals). Feel free
to contact me if you require further information.