Letter to the Editor: James Aas

Dear Editors of the Quest,

After reading the article last week regarding the college’s resistance to divestment from companies who are associated with Israel, I felt like the College was shirking responsibility associated with where its investments lie.

My issues with the journalistic integrity of announcing you’re a journalist partway through a meeting you attended, with the intent of publishing information you gathered prior to that announcement aside; the piece outlined some gaping holes in the logic Reed College employs in its investment process.

The college prioritizes economic profit in its investments, but in cases where there is a “compelling social or moral character” they can choose to disregard this motive.

The case of the Israel-Palestine conflict seems like a clear-cut example of where this moral character exists. In fact, refusing to divest, in spite of having a policy which outlines this exception to the profit motive, is a failing on the part of the college.

The college may claim that investments for profit and moral investments are mutually exclusive. The college investment policy does imply this is the case. However, this is not the case, we know the college can make money from its investments while still choosing investments that do not support the genocide being committed by Israel.

The 1973 policy that claims, “To own is not necessarily entirely to endorse” walks a careful line with the use of the word “entirely”. This assertion reads like CYA policy. Financial support is one of, if not the, strongest endorsement the college can make.

By deciding that a profit motive is the primary objective for Reed investments, the college ignores the opportunity to invest in a way that reflects the values of its community. Its financial decisions do have power, regardless of day-to-day changes in investment, money talks. Reed’s investment policy says the quiet part out loud: Reed College does not want to be held accountable for how it invests its money.