Divest UMaine is having success in our efforts to connect the issues of divestment, budget cuts and student debt.

At the University of Southern Maine, students have been organizing against budget cut announcements. These threatened cuts are just part of a defunding trend in Maine’s public universities over the last few years. Divest UMaine has joined the fight, and divestment was included in the language of the resulting student resolution.

“In this spirit, instead of cutting programs and defunding departments, we believe we should be focusing our energy on continuing creative fundraising, including tapping into our huge alumni resources.  In addition, it is antithetical to the vision of USM as community stewards to continue investing our endowment in coal, oil, and natural gas industries.  As such, we believe that the University Of Southern Maine should be completely divested from these industries within the next five years.” 

You can read the full Student Vision resolution at our change.org petition here.

We’re really excited about this approach, bringing together the issues of divestment, budget cuts and student debt— as these are all areas where students are becoming politicized as to how our public institutions are run. Education as public good is a principle that we need to hold dear as we look down the long road towards addressing the climate crisis.

USM shares an endowment with 7 system schools, including University of Maine Orono, where students have been organizing against student debt. Building a stronger relationship with that group is our next step.

If anyone is interested in talking more about this approach, or if you’re doing similar organizing, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch through our Divest UMaine Facebook page.

In solidarity for climate justice,

Divest UMaine

Divest UMaine table

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