Admin says no knowledge of prison investments following debut of new divestment campaign

Tyler Pager, Editor in Chief

Students launched a divestment campaign Tuesday, calling for the University to remove its investments from private prison companies.

Called “Unshackle NU,” the campaign is holding a launch event Wednesday in Fisk Hall where members will outline the campaign’s goals and discuss the impacts the prison system has on communities of color, according to the event’s Facebook page. On Tuesday, members of the campaign walked through Norris University Center, clad in all black and connected by a white string. The protestors chanted, “Unshackle NU” as they read off denunciations of the U.S. prison system and called for the University to immediately halt investments.

However, Northwestern’s Chief Investment Officer William McLean told The Daily in an email he had not heard about the divestment campaign, and he does not believe the University has investments in private prison companies.

Members of the campaign declined to comment Tuesday.

This campaign joins two other ongoing divestment efforts by students: Fossil Free NU and Northwestern Divest. Fossil Free NU was launched in 2012 to demand the University divests from coal companies. Last February, NUDivest sponsored a resolution that passed in Associated Student Government Senate, calling on the University to divest from six corporations the resolution’s authors say violate Palestinians’ human rights. The campaign recently announced a specific focus on pressuring the University to divest from G4S, one of the six companies listed in the resolution and one of the world’s largest security companies.

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