Just over a year has passed since NU Divest first announced its campaign urging the University to divest from six corporations with ties to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
According to Weinberg junior Marcel Hanna, the group’s resolution had three main objectives: “One of them was for transparency. We want to know what we’re invested in; we’ve got a right to know that,” he said. “Second is the development of a socially responsible investment committee. And then the third was to divest from those companies.”
Through letters to the editor, messages painted on the Rock, flyers, demonstrations and social media campaigns, the movement has garnered a loyal following among certain communities. Stressing the idea that students “do not live single issue lives,” NU Divest partnered with multiple groups on campus, ranging from MEChA de Northwestern to Students for Justice in Palestine to For Members Only. Most recently, NU Divest has partnered with a new initiative on campus, Unshackle NU, a campaign striving to end the University’s investment in corporations linked with the prison-industrial complex.
NU Divest’s campaign has also spurred tension on campus. Many have felt polarized by the movement, disconnected from friends and fellow classmates because of their beliefs.
But despite controversy, the group continues to work toward its goals. The movement made strides in the past year, but it still has a ways to go. Students are currently working with the administration to develop a committee dedicated to the socially responsible investment of University funds.
“This stuff takes time,” Hanna said. “But, essentially, what we hope and we feel like we want to achieve is the establishment of this committee that will hold more weight than ASG resolutions, where it will actually be able to hold the board accountable for these investments.”
NBN takes a look at the movement’s inception, its growth and its presence on campus today.