Brown University will not divest coal company assets from its endowment.
Christina Paxson, Brown’s president, announced the decision in a school-wide email on Sunday, reports The Brown Daily Herald. The announcement came after a meeting of the Brown Corporation, a bicameral body composed of a board of fellows and a board of trustees.
“At the end of the meeting, it became clear that we didn’t need to vote,” Paxson explained in the missive. “The support for divestiture just wasn’t there.”
“The existence of social harm is a necessary but not sufficient rationale for Brown to divest,” she also wrote.
Paxson noted that Brown will convene a task force in the future to come up with ways the Ivy League school can foil climate change.
The non-divestment decision has disappointed some of Brown’s world-traveling, energy-guzzling students and professors.
“There’s a logical fallacy here,” Brown student Leah Pierson told The Herald. She observed that Brown’s governing institution could not exist without students.
“This should be a democracy, and it isn’t,” Pierson complained.
The freshman’s Facebook page indicates that she is quite the globetrotter. Her “places” page boasts that she has visited Cape Town, South Africa (7,680 miles from Providence) and Belize City, Belize (3,500 miles from Providence). The Arlington, Va. native has also been other remote locales including the Amazon jungle of Peru.
Pierson’s fanypants Facebook photos show her living life to the fullest in places far-flung. In one photo, she is sitting atop the mountains above Cape Town in a Brown t-shirt, smiling broadly. In another, she can seen cavorting merrily on what appears to be the world’s largest salt flat in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. There is a sport utility vehicle in the background.
The Daily Caller is unable to calculate Pierson’s total carbon footprint for these trips, but her level of frustration is high.
“They’re giving us all these long, drawn-out explanations about why this has no positive social impact, but that’s not the reason they’re choosing not to divest,” Pierson protested, according to The Herald.
“If we can’t dissociate ourselves from big businesses, how can we expect our government to make social change?” she added.
Other students, such as Dara Illowsky, also weren’t happy with the decision.
“I thought we showed that the student voice was calling for divestment and that it mattered,” Illowsky told The Herald. “But the Corporation didn’t care.”
Illowsky is a member of Brown Divest Coal. Her Facebook page suggests that she is from Ossining, N.Y., a leafy suburban enclave in Westchester County full of mansions and ritzy estates.
The junior has experience as a research intern at the University of California, Santa Cruz, which is about 3,140 miles from Brown.
It’s not clear how much the jet fuel used by Illowsky hurt the environment.
“We’re not going away,” Illowsky insisted.