ASG to name last undergraduate student to socially responsible investment committee


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Nehaarika Mulukutla speaks during ASG Senate last academic year. The Weinberg senior said ASG will appoint a student to the ACIR this week.

Jonah Dylan , Sports Editor

After an expedited recruitment campaign to replace Yusuf Kudaimi on the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility, Associated Student Government President Nehaarika Mulukutla said a replacement would be announced this week.

Kudaimi decided to take a leave of absence from Northwestern and will therefore no longer serve on the committee, Mulukutla said. After extending the application deadline to find more qualified applicants, ASG will choose between four, the Weinberg senior said.

“Not that many people know about the ACIR, which is why it’s been difficult to find an undergraduate representative,” said Maryam Salem, a Weinberg junior who sits on the committee. “If more people knew about it and what the purpose of it was, if it was better advertised, then more people would apply to the position.”

Salem was appointed to the committee in the spring after it was approved by the Board of Trustees in November 2016. She will serve until next spring, as will the student appointed later this week, Mulukutla said.

Ten people comprise the committee, which includes both undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni. The ACIR will consider proposals and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees’ investment committee. However, the ACIR has not received any student proposals and has not met yet with the Board’s committee, Salem said.

Former ASG President Christina Cilento (SESP ’17), who helped oversee the creation of the ACIR, said she hopes students will engage with the committee.

“On paper, it’s set up to be a good advocacy mechanism, but in practice I’m worried about if it has enough traction, if students will be interested in being engaged in the process, if the divestment movements are active enough to contribute to it,” she said.

Cilento said three divestment movements — Fossil Free NU, NU Divest and Unshackle NU — helped push for the ACIR.

Similar committees exist at many other colleges and universities, and the ACIR has been in contact with a group at Columbia University for guidance, Salem said.

ASG chief of staff Lars Benson said finding students who are still involved with the divestment movement has been difficult, as many of those who fought for the ACIR’s creation have since graduated.

“It’s really that age-old fight in student activism where you have to make sure that we’re educating freshmen and younger students about why these issues matter and why we worked so hard to get this board in place,” he said.

Mulukutla said while engagement with the ACIR has been an issue, students should pay attention to the committee because it could affect the way NU invests its endowment.

“It’s hard to motivate people to care,” she said. “A big part of it is because there is a lot of perception around student-admin distrust that leads students to feeling like, ‘Even if I did contribute, what good would it do?’”

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