Students and faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) are understandably shocked by the hate-filled rampage of a local student Friday night, in which six UCSB students were killed and 13 wounded just off campus. America mourns with the families and we embrace the responsibility to work together to stop this madness. “Not one more,” as Richard Martinez, father of 20-year-old Christopher, heart-breakingly challenged us. We are up to the challenge.
To that end, we call on the University of California Board of Regents to examine whether the system’s $88 billion endowment is contributing to more senseless destruction by being invested in companies that profit from gun violence, obstruct common-sense gun legislation, and fund the NRA. University endowments led the way in divesting from apartheid South Africa and should do so again in divesting from the gun industry.
There have been 72 shootings on school campuses since the Sandy Hook massacre. We cannot afford to invest in gun companies. We are paying too high a cultural price to financially benefit from stock prices that climb even as our young people fall. The University of California, where this latest horror occurred, should stand with its community and ensure that it is not funded with the blood money from these killings. The UCSB community is grieving but there is a way to stop the madness: divest.