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Fossil fuel referendum passes

Yale College students approved a referendum calling on the university to "divest its endowment from those fossil fuel companies contributing the most to climate change and associated social harms."

About 52 percent of undergraduates voted in the Yale College Council referendum, the YCC reports. Of those, 83 percent favored divestment.

"These results meet the guidelines required for the Yale College Council to support the referendum statement," the YCC says. The next step is for the YCC to "present a position paper supporting the issue to the administration on behalf of Yale’s undergraduate students."

YCC referendums are a new mechanism to gauge opinion "on important issues concerning student life or Yale policy," the college council says. The divestment resolution is the first, prompted by a petition from the student group Fossil Free Yale. That organization has already been meeting with the university's Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility to discuss ways to measure the climate-change impact of energy companies in which Yale invests.

The vote, Fossil Free Yale's Gabe Levine ’14 tells the Yale Daily News, is intended not as pressure, but to show President Peter Salovey ’86PhD "that divestment is “not a back-burner issue.'”

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