MSA suggests Burma stock divestment for U

The Minnesota Student Association voted Tuesday to recommend the University’s divestment in Total Oil Company.
Total Oil is a leading investor in Burma, a country in southeast Asia. Burma has gained international attention stemming from a violent military takeover in 1988.
The Minnesota Free Burma Coalition has led the crusade at the University for divestment of stocks in a company which, in their words, helps support the oppressive military regime.
The recommendation — which had 27 in favor, two against and eight abstaining — will now go to the University’s Social Concerns Committee, who will put it to a vote on Feb. 5. They will then make a recommendation to the Board of Regents on whether to divest or hold onto the stock.
“We’re very optimistic that the Social Concerns Committee will pass it on to the board,” said Brandon Lacy, College of Liberal Arts junior and MSA representative.
The board might then discuss the issue on Feb. 12, their next scheduled meeting. “We’re hoping they will put it on their agenda,” said Mick Schommer, a member of the coalition and University graduate student in liberal studies.
The board already has a set agenda of things to discuss at the next meeting. But the outcome of the Social Concerns Committee could influence them to put the issue on the table, Schommer said.
If the board declines to address the issue at that meeting, it could be as late as March before a decision is made.

— Emily Dalnodar