In a surprise move Sunday night, student activists at DePaul University announced that they are re-launching their DePaul Divest campaign to pressure the university administration to pull its investments from corporations that profit off of Israel’s human rights violations in Palestine, respecting last year’s majority student vote. Corporations include Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Veolia, Caterpillar, and others.
DePaul Divest organizers call for divestment from these corporations and the establishment of screens to ensure socially-responsible investments at DePaul. They also ask that Hewlett-Packard be dropped from DePaul’s preferred vendors list due to its well-documented role in Israeli checkpoints and identification services that prevent Palestinians’ freedom of movement.
In spring of 2014, DePaul students voted in a referendum during Student Government elections in favor of divestment. Now, the DePaul Divest coalition has requested that the Fair Business Practices Committee (FBPC) uphold the student decision from last spring
Coalition members submitted a report to the FBPC for review at their next meeting. Due to the limited number of scheduled meetings this committee holds each year, the student coalition urges its members to accept the case filed at this upcoming meeting in the hopes of moving towards a decision on twelve corporations identified as not in line with the institution’s Vincentian mission.
The ultimate goal at this stage of the ongoing campaign is a recommendation from the FBPC to University President Father Holtschneider affirming the student demands to divest from corporations with direct links to Israel’s human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. In the formal complaint filed by DePaul Divest, organizers request that the committee recommend an investigation of the university’s investments and that a formal assessment of the feasibility of divestment be made, that the University drop Hewlett-Packard from its preferred vendors list, and the establishment of guidelines to move towards ethical investment in the future.
DePaul Divest is a coalition of students, student organizations, staff, faculty and alumni that call on the DePaul University administration to pull its investments from corporations that profit off of the illegal occupation of Palestine and the human rights abuses these companies help perpetuate. For more information, visit dpudivests.org.