We are a coalition of groups from the York community who are calling on York University's Board of Governors to divest from arms manufacturers.
An examination of York University's investment holdings revealed that York was investing its endowment fund in several weapons manufacturers. A university's endowment fund is used to fund scholarships, bursaries and university projects.
In September 2014, the hashtag #YUDivest was launched after Amnesty International at York, Students Against Israeli Apartheid and the York Federation of Students decided to initiate the call for divestment. In recognition of the state of upheaval our world is in today, and in support of the plight of peoples affected by war and armed conflict, including the effects of war on the families of York community members from diverse backgrounds, the demand was broad enough to include all weapons manufacturers.
In January and February 2016, the Graduate Students' Association and YorkU Alumni for Social Justice joined the campaign. Together, the five groups make up the #YUDIVEST Coalition.
We agree with prominent political science professor Saeed Rahnema’s statement in Excalibur that investment by an educational institution in a military-related company is totally unacceptable: “The university should find ways to contribute to efforts towards peace and avoid any involvement with anything that has to do with military and war.”
We demand that the York University Board of Governors divest from the arms industry.