Divest Suspends Elevator Occupation


Jemima McEvoy

NYU Divest and NYU SLAM attempted conversations with some members of the Board of Trustees with limited success.

Alex Domb, Deputy News Editor

NYU Divest ended its occupation of an Elmer Holmes Bobst Library administrative elevator on Friday afternoon in response to conflicting information regarding one of the group’s demands.

One of Divest’s three demands asked NYU to end its direct investments in the fossil fuel companies Anadarko and Noble. A letter from NYU Executive Vice President Martin Dorph soon responded to the group’s requests, explaining that NYU no longer holds direct investments in these groups.

Divest had previously said that it would remain in the location until all three demands were met, but it has put its efforts on hold as it considers new information which contradicts its previous research. NYU has not responded to Divest’s two other demands, which asked that the university hold an open meeting to reconsider divestment from all fossil fuel companies and that the university use screens for carbon use when deciding on commingled funds.

Dorph’s letter said that the university’s investments in Anadarko and Noble are currently only in the form of indirect, commingled funds, not direct investments. NYU administration additionally told NYU Divest that its members would likely face disciplinary consequences if they remained in the elevator past midnight.

According to Divest, the university had notified the group in 2014 that it held direct investments in Anadarko and Noble. NYU had not notified Divest about these investments having been dropped. It remains unclear at what point since 2014 NYU dropped these investments.

“We are heartened that NYU has dropped its investments in Anadarko and Noble,” NYU Law student Olivia Rich said in a statement released by NYU Divest. “However, we are disappointed that NYU is at this point unwilling to provide us with information about when and why these investments were dropped, and why we only found out about it this morning.”

NYU Divest said that it was investigating Dorph’s claims and that it will resume its advocacy once it has considered how this new information impacts its requests.

“NYU Divest plans on continuing their escalation on their remaining demands after attempting to gather more information about today’s developments,” the statement read.