The York University Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment (YUACRI) was established in 2013 to consider socially and environmentally responsible investment practices, including making recommendations on proposals from the York community. YUDivest and Fossil Free York submitted proposals for weapons and fossil fuel divestment (respectively) during the summer of 2016. On Feb. 10th, 2017, the majority of YUACRI members voted to recommend YUDivest’s proposal to divest from five arms manufacturers. During YUACRI’s next meeting on March 3rd, 2017, three committee members, including the Chair, left the meeting abruptly before the vote on fossil fuel divestment. Given that the majority of YUACRI members were still present, the meeting continued and the remaining members voted to recommend Fossil Free York’s proposal on fossil fuel divestment.
On March 31st, 2017, the York administration announced its decision “to suspend the activities of the committee pending a full review of the functioning of the committee.” Since that announcement there has been no update from the York administration on the status of the proposals or YUACRI. The administration’s undemocratic decision undermines the work of the York community for responsible investment and appears to be politically motivated. No matter your opinion on the proposals themselves, due process must be respected.
Send a message to President Lenton and VP Finance and Administration Carol McAulay that you will not tolerate this attack on the free exchange of ideas. Re-instate YUACRI now!
For more information, see the Open Letter from YUACRI Members
To the York administration:
I oppose the decision announced on March 31, 2017 to suspend the York University Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment (YUACRI).
It is disappointing that the York administration has taken such extreme and undemocratic steps ostensibly because it disagrees with YUACRI’s recommendations. York University should be a place where the free exchange of ideas is encouraged and supported, not shut down by bureaucratic maneuvering.
I support the mandate of YUACRI and believe that YUACRI should be able to continue its work without interference or intimidation from the York administration. A lot of work has already gone into creating YUACRI and drafting the existing proposals. It would not be fair or productive to re-start the process. For these reasons, I call on you to immediately end YUACRI’s suspension and to cease any further interference in its work.
I urge you to act quickly to restore YUACRI as a fully functioning committee, and to provide the support it requires to complete its work in a timely manner.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.