The Western Foundation recently asked for donations to the Western Stands for Washington Campaign. A WWU alumnus and Bellingham resident, I am both honored the Founder’s and WWU seek to better lives of students and Washington residents, and offended at what I see as the discrepancy between their words and actions.
The goal to “have a direct impact on Washington’s economy and on the next generation of leaders” is significant. However, it would be better demonstrated by a response to the cries of students, faculty, alumni and the community to divest the foundation’s portfolio from fossil fuels. I find inaction from the foundation is disheartening and completely detracts from the WSW Campaign’s message of empowerment.
I am not alone in my sentiment, I won’t be the only alumnus to withhold donations until divestment is attempted. The Founders have good intentions, but must prove their word via divestment. It is what we need and want.
Once WWU takes actions to safeguard our future, I will be truly proud. It’s not a matter of if — but when. May it be sooner rather than later and may WWU be a leader in the academic world for progress in social responsibility, environmental sustainability and economic forethought — and inspire the “next generation of leaders” by example. Then WWU will enjoy my pride and respect in a monetary fashion, not before.