Macalester College
Social Responsibility Committee
November 30, 2011

Meeting Notes

Present: Terry Boychuk (chair), Lloyd Cledwyn, Daylanne English, Anna Faber, Laurie Hamre,
Brian Lindeman, Doriyush Ubaydi, and David Wheaton

Guests: Leewana Thomas, Josie Ahrens, Mark Dickinson and Suzanne Hanson-Savanek

Josie and Leewana presented a proposal requesting the College 1) divest investments in the HEI Hotel Management Company and 2) members of the Mac community boycott HEI properties. A report alleging HEI runs its hotels like sweatshops was presented along with a list of institutions and organizations that have promised to divest or stop future investing in HEI. Macalester MPIRG signed on to a national solidarity letter signed by 54 student groups calling on their institution to make a clear commitment to not invest. Students reported this was mostly a MPIRG thing and not many Mac students were aware of this issue.  The Student Investment Committee would only be involved if the College had holdings in HEI.

The question was asked whether there was a union friendly website that Mac could support as opposed to boycotting all HEI properties when the higher percentage are not on the “bad” list. The student presenters are interested in Macalester putting its values out front and joining the boycott and committing to refraining from investing in the future. The Economic Justice Task Force of MPIRG is working on this proposal for action.

The proposal will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Mark and Suzanne provided a brief overview of the contract process for recycling and trash hauling. Currently Mac and Hamline are looking for new contracts, as the other three ACTC schools have pulled out. Veola (which purchased Vasco, who held the Mac contract) is one of two companies currently in the running.  A group of faculty and staff brought a concern in October about human rights issues with the Veola Company. Mark and Suzanne will look at the businesses proposals to see if it is possible to unmingle Veola and Eureka, the two companies working together to provide a bid for recycling and trash.

Meeting was adjourned.