For Immediate Release
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February 1st, 2016
On Friday January 22, 2016 the Student Government Association opened a student-body wide Referendum on the idea of fossil fuel divestment at Barnard College. Divest Barnard approached SGA last semester around October to gauge whether SGA would be willing to hold the referendum, and it was agreed upon to have it run live during program filing week during the first couple of weeks back on campus in the spring.
This Referendum is important to the divestment campaign as SGA has the unique opportunity of reaching the entire student body through email and using the BCIT platform to collect this data – access that Divest Barnard does not have alone. Similarly, other divestment campaigns that DB has been working closely with (predominantly in the Seven Sister Schools) have held college wide referendums to bolster support and educational awareness of their campaigns amongst the students and highlight to Administrators the importance of divestment.
We are thrilled to announce that the Referendum passed with 95.92% in favor of fossil fuel divestment. The voting population was 23.82% of the student population, which was enough to be deemed legitimate by SGA. In terms of the next steps for our campaign, we will be using this overwhelmingly positive support to work with SGA to get a statement of endorsement of our campaign. Given that the student body demonstrated their immense support for divestment from fossil fuels, we hope that SGA will legitimize their concerns for us to use in negotiations with Administrators and the Board.
The students have clearly spoken, and we can’t wait for SGA to use its platform to advocate for our concerns. Thank you to all that voted – we couldn’t have done it without you. If you would like to get more involved with the campaign contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .