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Trustees disinvest from Sudan

By web

Section: News

April 28, 2006

The Executive Committee of the Brandeis University Board of Trustees has decided to disinvest the university endowment of investments made in companies that do business in genocide-plagued Sudan.

The committee unanimously endorsed a statement to keep the universitys endowment free of any holdings in companies doing business in Sudan, according to a university press release.

A statement was approved unanimously on Apr. 10 in a response to the continued violence in Sudans Darfur region, according to a University press release.

The executive committees goal is to prohibit direct investment in the government of Sudan and investment in any companies that are conducting business activities in Sudan, such as maintaining equipment, facilities, personnel, or other tools of commerce;

that are providing goods and services to companies operating in Sudan;

and that are investing in the bonds or the financial instruments of the government of Sudan. Currently, Brandeis does not have any such investments.

According to the release, the policy adopted at Brandeis reaches farther than such measures at many other colleges and universities. At least seven other universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Brown, and the state governments of Illinois, New Jersey, and Oregon have divested themselves of assets in Sudan.

The national effort to have universities divest from Sudan is spearheaded by the Sudan Divestment Task Force, of which Daniel Millenson 09 is the executive director.
Were working on a divestment bill in Massachusetts, Millenson said, and every time an institution like Brandeis divests it helps us at the state level.

Millenson also noted that Brandeis version of divestment is technically disinvestment, and varies slightly from the plan outlined by the Sudan Divestment Task Force, whose goal is to target offending companies. An offending company is one that contributes revenue to the Sudanese government, is having minimally beneficial or harmful effects on Sudans civilian population, and is taking no substantive action to prevent the governments policies.

The official website of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (standnow.org) advocates divestment. Divestment from companies is the best way to assure that the Government of Sudan can not afford to carry out its genocidal campaigns.

According to Millenson, the STAND model for divestment is based on research done at the University of California.

Millenson has been quoted in the New York Times and the Louisville Cardinal on the growing divestment movement.

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