The Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility plans to advise the board of directors to establish a policy of no direct investment in private prison companies and to avoid commingled funds with investments in private prison companies “to the maximum extent possible,” according to a memo published by the committee today.
CISR also concluded that divestment would not be effective in promoting a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The committee’s memo comes in response to a petition submitted by Eman Abdelfadeel (COL ’17), Sophia Bauerschmidt Sweeney (COL ’17) and Salma Khamis (SFS ’17) to Georgetown in October, which demanded that the university divest from private prison companies and companies that contribute to the “occupation of Palestine.”
After its review of the proposal, CISR has concluded by a majority vote that the proposal does not merit consideration by the board of directors. Specifically, the committee took issue with the petition’s request to divest from companies and funds that have investments in the private prison industry.
“CISR found that these companies do not have sufficiently direct involvement in the industry,” the report stated.
In the memo, CISR also recommended that the university use other methods of exploring peaceful resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“In reaching this conclusion, the Committee took into consideration the views of University community members, many of whom are deeply concerned about this conflict and have many different perspectives and ideas on how to address it,” the report stated. “CISR encourages the Georgetown community to use the resources of our university – academic research, teaching and learning, co–curricular programming, and community–based service – to create dialogue, foster understanding, and explore peaceful solutions to this conflict.”
In its original proposal, which was endorsed by at least 17 student groups, the three students requested that the university publicly disclose its investments, setting a deadline by Jan. 13. In late January, University Chief of Staff Joe Ferrara declined the group’s request, citing that it is not the university’s standard practice to disclose investments.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article stated the GU F.R.E.E. submitted the proposal. It was independently submitted by three students.