Harvard undergraduates overwhelmingly vote for Social Choice Fund


For more information, please contact:
Gabriel Bayard (Harvard College, Class of 2015) at 916-753-6118 or gbayard@college.harvard.edu


CAMBRIDGE, MA, November 17, 2012—Results released this morning revealed 80.5% student approval for a Harvard College-wide referendum calling on the Harvard Management Company, which manages the university’s $30.7 billion endowment, to accept a fund adhering to responsible investment practices.

“This resounding endorsement from the student body demonstrates how important it is that Harvard not only educate us to be responsible citizens but also show responsibility in the entirety of its mission,” Lindsey Claus, Harvard ’16, said.

Four hundred and fifty students, alumni, and faculty have already contributed $11,200 to the Fair Harvard Fund, which is being held in escrow by the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition until Harvard agrees to accept it by creating a social choice fund as part of its endowment.

Since December 2011, the Coalition has advocated for the creation of a social choice fund which prioritizes investment opportunities that promote social good and yield high returns. Harvard administrators have stated that the university is considering establishing a social choice fund.

“Hopefully, our overwhelming student approval will encourage them to accept the $11,200 currently being withheld from our endowment,” Nicole Granath, Harvard ’15, the Co-Coordinator of the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition said.

Krishna Dasaratha, Harvard ’13, the Treasurer of the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition, said, “In the last two years, Harvard has allegedly committed capital to several socially irresponsible companies, including a hedge fund that engages in land grabs from small-hold farmers in Mozambique and a private equity fund accused of repeatedly mistreating hotel workers.”

“We hope an alternative can be established to incentivize more student and alumni donations to the university we love,” Camilla Gibson, Harvard ’15, said. “A social choice fund would yield high returns and produce positive social impact, aligning Harvard’s mission in the world with its investment strategy.”



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