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Thursday, April 18, 2024

I would like to offer some supplemental information about Students for a Democratic Society's transparency and socially responsible investment campaign and our recent meeting with UF President Bernie Machen.

We went into this campaign somewhat naive about UF's ability to meet some of our demands. Nevertheless, after our first action in September, Machen agreed to our request for a formal audience. The Board of Trustees implemented rudimentary steps toward the campaign's policies at its September meeting. Because of these positive developments, SDS decided to hold off further protest until we came out of our meeting with Machen.

This window of time gave us a much needed opportunity to reevaluate our positions and formulate an argument that would have greater appeal to an administrator such as Machen. We found a Web site outlining the socially responsible investment campaigns of several prominent universities, including Harvard, Columbia and Yale. With endowment investments up to 12 times the size of UF's, these schools had implemented some, if not all, of the demands we are making of UF.

The proposal we presented to Machen was based off of the SRI advisory committees at these schools and outlined forming a socially responsible investment committee at UF. If acted upon, UF will become the first public university in the country with transparent and accountable socially responsible investment policies.

In order to keep the pressure on the administration, SDS will hold a demonstration at noon on Oct. 22 on the Reitz Union Colonnade under the banner "No War, No Warming."

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