Student Government / Student Life

Divestment group silenced at Board of Trustees Student Liaison meeting

Students asking the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees to stop accepting money from the oil and coal industry were silenced Wednesday at the Board of Trustees Student Liaison meeting.

Students of the divestment movement were originally on the meeting agenda to speak to the board about divesting from companies that contribute to climate change but were dropped from the agenda the day before for unknown reasons.

Student Government Association President Marie Reimers had no comment when asked why the group was dropped from the agenda.

“We had people who were coming to talk about divestment, but we had to tell them we were dropped from the agenda,” said senior Mariah Urueta, a representative of the divestment group and SGA House leader. “Jarret Schlaff, the midwest coordinator for the divestment movement was coming tonight, but we had to tell him not to come.”

The group attempted to stage a peaceful protest outside the meeting in the Bovee University Center, handing out fliers and holding a banner that read “Divest CMU for our future,” but were told by Shaun Holtgreive, executive director of student life and campus affairs, that they were not permitted to protest inside the building and could face an automatic suspension if anyone filed a complaint.

The group plans to have a representative speak on the group’s behalf during public comments at the Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 20.


  1. michmediaperson says:

    Thank goodness the Board of Trustees and George Ross did this. CMU does NOT need to divest in oil and coal stocks but increase its holdings. We need to be fracking, drilling for oil everywhere in the USA so we can bring down fuel prices for the poor and middle-class. Likewise, we need our coal facilities operating at full blast so the poor and middle class can have lower energy bills. Plus, it provides employment for millions of Americans. We could put 100,000 unemployed back to work building the Keystone Pipeline.

    January, 2013, InsideHigherEd, has a great story how the oil companies are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the North Dakota universities and junior colleges thanks to the fracking and oil production which is booming in North Dakota. North Dakota now has the best funded universities, junior colleges and K-12 school districts. Pay raises for all. Unemployment is near 0 there. In fact, Sean Hannity had a job fair on his radio show last week since North Dakota energy companies have so many job openings, $80,000 to $120,000 pay range, that there aren’t enough workers in the state. So, Hannity has people nationally applying. Wal-Mart workers are making $17 an hour, McDonalds employees $15. I went up there on business last year and you’d swear Ronald Reagan was president again.

    I’m curious if the midwest coordinator for this liberal group was planning to come via a gas car or coming via bicycle?

    Good to see George and the Board not waste their time on this.

    This group needs to get on their bicycles and go see the Democratic Party lawmakers who own oil and coal stocks and tell them to divest.

    A question for the Editor. If michmediaperson appears at the next Board meeting to endorse CMU not only maintaining but buying more oil and coal stocks, will you write a story about me appearing? After all, you did it for the Left, will you do it for a conservative????? Or, are you just a PR outlet for liberals????

    Wonder why the Editor doesn’t talk about what’s going on up in North Dakota???

    • Zach Bronson says:

      I’m sorry, michmediaperson, but what you said was extremely ignorant. Investing in fossil fuels is nothing more than a bandaid for the bigger problems ahead. Coal, Oil, and Gas are finite resources and we will run out them. Maybe not in your lifetime, but they will run out. Do you even care about humanity? Fossil fuels control our society because people want material possessions and wealth. Fossil fuels provide an immediate and easy solution to that. The problem with that is there will never be enough of anything to satisfy everyone. And investing in fossil fuels will just make that bandaid so much more painful when it is ripped off. This is not some liberal hippie movement, it is a small step in a larger movement that our entire world will have to take one day when we run out.

  2. We know where the oil is here.
    Drill all you want, but it’s not going to do anything to the price.
    The price is determined by seven individuals around a table at OPEC. Not necessarily supply and demand related.

  3. Hey bud,

    Even if you think CMU should increase its holdings in oil and coal, it is still extremely disrespectful for the Board of Trustees to drop a group from the agenda at the last minute with no explanation. I don’t see the harm in letting a group with different ideas come in to discuss them. They might have some solid thoughts that the Board (and maybe even you) never considered before.

    Secondly, you seem to be explicitly focused on the economic benefits of fracking and coal burning (money, jobs, universities, etc.) but that’s not the whole picture. Those activities have downsides too, like adding toxic pollutants into the ground that might threaten the safety of our drinking water.

    My point is that you need to take it easy with the whole “left vs right, us vs them” mentality and try to understand where the economy and the environment intersect and how that can impact our society.

    Money isn’t everything, pal. This is the only planet we have to live on.

  4. Student Government Association President Marie Reimers is the one who removed us from the agenda, not the Board of Trustees. But thankfully we were able to get in a representative from Divest CMU to present a public comment the next morning.

  5. Stanford Plan for 100% Wind, Water & Solar (WWS) for all energy purposes (heating, cooling, transportation, industry) by 2030

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