Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition member Felix de Rosen wrote an op-ed that appeared in today’s Crimson.
He writes about his membership on the Student-Faculty Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, noting,
Although the creation of the ACSR was an important step forward, the organization leaves a lot to be desired. First, the CCSR is not required to listen to the ACSR, making the ACSR purely symbolic. Second, and most importantly, the ACSR has no ability to initiate proxy proposals or to recommend that Harvard reconsider its investment in certain companies. The only reason the CCSR listened to the ACSR’s advice on PetroChina was that PetroChina had become a major public issue that Harvard could no longer ignore. Third, the ACSR has no way of communicating to either students or to the CCSR. This is why RI@Harvard’s objective to strengthen the ACSR is necessary.
He also urges students and administrators to work together to achieve goals, writing,
The future of responsible investment at Harvard depends on the ability of students and administrators to understand each others’ perspectives, which may be more nuanced than each group likes to think. On the one hand, the administration is genuinely concerned over the manner in which Harvard invests its money. It is not opposed to change, but understands that compromises are inevitable when working in a large organization… On the other hand, the students are a force committed to revising Harvard’s investment policy for the common good… The next step forward for RI@H is to join the shared experiences of the administration and the students.
You can read the whole article online here.