The University’s recent decision not to divest from Sudan is one of the most contentious and drawn-out decisions that will continue to face our campus this academic year. The administration, in its long process of meetings with student objectors, has shown a commitment to principle as well as to change. It has retained its policy of sticking by the Kalven Report while also openly hearing students’ concerns. Regardless of what you think about the decision, the way the University has reached its conclusion ought to be applauded.
At the same time, as the Maroon has said before, the crisis in Darfur is a pressing problem that faces the worldwide community. The genocide that has unfolded in Darfur amid political turmoil is morally reprehensible. The international community needs to intervene in some way to stop the killing. Without such action, the international community is morally responsible for all atrocities committed or enabled by the Sudanese government.
The proper course of action for the University, and for individuals, is hazy at best. While the University did not divest from Sudan, the Board of Trustees pledged to use $200,000 of University funds to research the problem and search, in an academic manner, for possible solutions to the conflict.
At the Maroon, we think that an issue as complex as this deserves more than mere consideration of both perspectives. While the exact effects of the symbolic act of divestment cannot be known, it nonetheless would have been an action aimed at ending the conflict. At the same time, the money pledged is also an act aimed at ending the conflict. While the Maroon happens to be divided on the University’s decision, we solidly affirm that any action aimed at ending the genocide in Darfur is not only necessary, but of the utmost importance. This discussion has yet to come to an end—and we hope to see further action taken in response to this ever-pressing issue.