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York University's students' union puts ethical investment on the agenda

28 January 2008 / by Rachel Mason
The University of York's students' union (YUSU) has taken its campaign against unethical investment by universities to a national level by submitting a motion to the NUS.

YUSU's motion is called 'Ethical Investments in Universities' and aims to encourage ethical investment by universities; York University has already taken the motion on board, and the union hopes other universities will soon follow suit.

The motion is calling on the NUS to lobby and pressurise other universities to "adopt a socially responsible investment (SRI) policy" and "divest where possible, its shares in any company that does not meet the mentioned SRI criteria."

The annual NUS conference is being held in Blackpool on April 1-3, and if the motion is passed by delegates, affiliated unions will start to put pressure on their respective universities to implement a policy similar to the one already employed by York as a result of the pressure of its union.

Talking to, the University of York's news site, YUSU president Anne-Marie Canning, who led the movement, which marks the first YUSU motion to the NUS for five years, said:" It is great that our university is setting an example to others as to how to invest ethically. We are setting a pressing national agenda."

"This is important for YUSU," continued Canning. "We are not an NUS confident union and looking at the result from our recent referendum, if we're going to stay in NUS we want more of a stake in it, not just pay our affiliation fee. It would be good to get more of an exposure to national politics as a student union."

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