University responds to Georgetown Divest! before today’s protest
As they promised yesterday, Georgetown Divest! took another trip from Red Square to President John DeGioia‘s office this afternoon. But, the 10 members of today’s protest did not know that the University had responded with a preemptive with e-mail beforehand.
The protest began at 2:30 p.m., but members of Georgetown Divest! has not checked the coalition group’s e-mail account immediately beforehand. The members of the coalition discovered afterward that LaMarr Q. Billups, the Assistant Vice President of Business Policy and Planning, had responded via e-mail at 12:45 p.m.
“We checked [the e-mail account] over an hour ago and it was empty,” Sam Geaney-Moore (SFS, ’12), a member of Georgetown Divest!, said during the protest.
The group were met by Janet T. Pfister, an Executive Assistant in the Office of the President. Pfister told the group, “Everybody’s in a meeting that just started, so you’re stuck with me today,” while adding that “I was told that a response [to Georgetown Divest!] was given by LaMarr Billups.”
In the letter, Billups writes, “The [Investment] Office invests in commingled managed funds … divestment of individual funds is not possible, and divestment from funds that may or may not at any given moment hold investments in specific companies is not practicable.”
Billups also referred the coalition to its April 9 meeting with University officials, writing, “At that meeting you asked if Georgetown University would divest … The answer to that question is no.”
In an e-mail sent to Vox, Geaney-Moore responded to Billup’s letter, writing, “This letter does not constitute a good faith response to student concerns, it is a response that the coalition does not accept, and we will continue to pressure the University to recognize that morality should be considered at all in university investment decisions.”
After the jump, read Assistant Vice President Billups’ complete letter to Georgetown Divest!
Photo by Jackson Perry (Disclosure: In addition to being the Voice‘s Photo Editor, Jackson is a member of Georgetown Divest!)