The New Divestment Movement Confronts the University of Chicago

In The Nation:

The Sudan divestment movement is arguably the largest– and most efficacious– student movement on campuses today. Since Harvard students effectively mobilized and forced their university to divest from holdings in Sudanese or Sudan-related companies in the spring of 2005, over 30 universities have either completely or partially divested. As the world continues to do virtually nothing while the 21st century’s first genocide unfolds, American students have been among the only force that has sent shivers through Khartoum regime.

The movement has been so effective, in part, because of the categorically moral nature of the cause. Who, students ask, would continue to financially support genocide once they’ve realized they were doing it? It’s a no-brainer call most administrators have responded to.

But at the University of Chicago, it’s a different story. Last week, U of C became the first major university to refuse to divest. That’s right– the administration actively rebuffed a student movement calling for the divestment of $1 million dollars of Sudan-related investments– a mere pittance of U of C’s $5 billion dollar endowment.