December 2, 2015
President Michael V. Drake
205 Bricker Hall
190 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210
Dear President Drake,
We, the undersigned student organizations, have rallied together today to raise our voices as one. As students at The Ohio State University, we see our institution make decisions in the name of enhancing the Buckeye experience and improving our academic mission. These decisions are laden with secrecy, and include selling out our energy systems to a fossil fuel corporation, sourcing our food from farms with inhumane conditions, and investing in corporations that support Israeli apartheid. We pay exorbitant tuition prices to go to this university, yet our money is squandered supporting corrupt practices. These decisions are made in our name, yet do not reflect the values of students and the Buckeye community as a whole, and they perpetuate a system of racism.
When students take issue and propose alternatives, our voices are denied or falsely placated. This is not a democratic system, and our concerns are not represented. In spite of these experiences and past decisions made by this institution, we hold hope in the ideal of a socially just Ohio State. Students and workers need to have a say in the decisions that impact us. We call for a wholly democratic process in which students, workers, and faculty hold a majority seat at the table for decisions that impact us. Below, find a list of steps OSU must take in order to begin moving forward in truly representing the values of the Buckeye community:
- Sign on to the Real Food Campus Commitment, ensuring our university supports a fair, humane, ecologically sound, community based, and transparent food system that prioritizes student voice.
- The Request for Information process of the Comprehensive Energy Management Plan stops immediately, and Ohio State University ceases from all current future endeavors to privatize our public university and cater to corporate interests.
- To withdraw its investments in entities (ie. Boeing, Caterpillar, etc) complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories until they are no longer engaged in the violation of human rights and other practices that fail to adhere to the Ohio State’s endorsed Principles of Responsible Investment.
- To cut ties with companies engaged in systematic prejudiced oppression on the basis of race, religion, nationality, country of origin, age, gender or orientation.
This coal symbolizes the dirty energy choices we fear you are about to make, and the coal for Christmas you receive for denying student voices. It doesn’t have to be this way. President Drake, you have a responsibility to your students to respond to our grievances.
United Students Against Sweatshops
OSU Coalition for Black Lives
Real Food at OSU
International Socialist Organization