Demand Gonzaga Divest from Fossil Fuels
Gonzaga University Board of Trustees
Now more than ever, it is Gonzaga University's responsibility to make a plan to divest from the top 200 most intensive fossil fuel companies. Gonzaga prides itself in the cultivation of its Jesuit values through care for the planet, others, and self. In a moment of revolutionary social change, it is the responsibility of Gonzaga University to align its endowment with its mission statement. Join us in signing your name to demand the university align itself with its core values.
Gonzaga University Board of Trustees
From: [Your Name]
As a group of concerned students of Gonzaga University who wish to apply the principles of our Jesuit education to real-world solutions, we are calling on the Board of Trustees to commit to a plan to divest the University’s endowment from any financial holdings in the 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies with the highest amount of reported carbon reserves (Carbon Underground 200) within the next 5 years and to immediately cease any further investments into these companies.
We request this because we are actively seeking to build a more sustainable and socially just world for ALL of the planet’s inhabitants, and because we firmly believe in Gonzaga University's mission statement, which states:
“The Gonzaga experience fosters a mature commitment to dignity of the human person, social justice, diversity, intercultural competence, global engagement, solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, and care for the planet. Grateful to God, the Gonzaga community carries out this mission with responsible stewardship of our physical, financial, and human resources.”
Our Gonzaga student government, our Gonzaga Faculty Senate, and the Gonzaga Staff Assembly have all voted in support of our call for divestment from fossil fuels. Gonzaga University occupies a special place in the academic landscape. As a humanistic Jesuit institution, it strives to prepare its students to be actively engaged with the world in which they live; advocate for social justice; serve the common good; be innovative, critical thinkers; and live ethically.
One of the greatest challenges facing the world today is climate change and its effects – effects that greatly impact the most vulnerable and powerless in society. Millions are threatened by rising sea levels, intensification of extreme weather events, flooding, droughts, food insecurity, and the resulting social and political instabilities.
The scientific consensus is overwhelming: the current rise in global temperature and disruption of climate patterns has anthropogenic origins – specifically, the deforestation of large tracts of land and the extraction and use of fossil fuels. If left unchecked, these actions will bring the average global temperature to a level which threatens to destroy countless ecosystems. This is already beginning to happen.
During a pandemic which has directly targeted the safety of our communities, we must reevaluate as an institution the role that we must play in shaping a better tomorrow for everyone. COVID-19 has highlighted the disproportionate inequity in this country. Now more than ever it is the responsibility of Gonzaga University as an institution to align our endowment with our mission statement. As we face uncertainty in the face of civil injustice, intense climate change, and a global health crisis, our students, faculty, and campus are watching. We are demanding that the university do it’s part in securing our future by pulling it’s investments in fossil fuels. In moments where change is necessary, we are asking the university to stand up for its students.
We are requesting the Board of Trustees to seize the opportunity to be at the forefront of a divestment movement that demonstrates the responsible stewardship of Gonzaga’s financial resources in accordance with the principles of the mission statement and ultimately seeks to care for our common home. We feel it would show the world just how special Gonzaga truly is.