In a true testament to the University’s ethic and moral standards, the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee decided last month that the University’s endowment will not include dollars from investments in companies that support Sudan’s genocide in Darfur. This sent a positive message to Rochester students who constantly complain about the UR bubble they are living in, where the outside world has no effect on their quality of living.This move brought the conflict in Sudan closer to home.
While the University is forgoing potentially lucrative investments in one of the world’s fastest growing economies, the true value of the decision came in the example that it set for students. With tuition always on the rise, the UR administration is often seen as swindling us out of our money. Instead, this was a refreshing reminder that this money is being handled responsibly in a socially conscious manner.
The Sudanese government has shut its doors to UN peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts while receiving Chinese, British and Dutch companies and investors with open arms. They join the oil tycoons, warlords and corrupt government officials that ravenously profit from the country’s natural resources at the expense of its citizens. The University, thankfully, will not be included on that list.
Although this decision will likely have only a small effect on the conflict that has already created 200,000 casualties and 2.5 million refugees since its inception, the gesture is educational. For students living 6,000 miles away, where relation to the conflict can disappear with the change of a channel, the impact that our dollars could have in Sudan is often overlooked. In fact, though, the millions of dollars that we invest in tuition could have been used to fuel a genocide.
We hope that the student body will follow the University’s leaders in displaying dismay for one of the most ignored international atrocities of our generation.
Once again, we have joined the country’s top institutions in combining academic and economic strength to take a stand and generate international reaction.