Acting on a recommendation from the Committee on Environmental Responsibility, LUCC last month passed a non-binding resolution requesting that Lawrence University and its alumni not purchase World Bank bonds. This decision not only will have no real effect on the environment, but also shows the gap between LUCC and its constituents.One can find the rationale behind the original decision in pamphlets that members of the committee handed out to LUCC the day they introduced their proposal to the general council. According to LUCC minutes, the World Bank supposedly used a “cookie cutter method on economies in developing countries and this led to a destruction of the environment and human resources.”
If the World Bank ignores the plight of entire third-world nations, will it listen to the non-binding resolution of a student government that probably does not own any World Bank bonds anyhow? Instead of working on non-binding resolutions, the CER should spend more time making recommendations that might have a chance of being followed.
In addition to the uselessness of the resolution, it also was passed with little to no effort to seek the opinions of the general student body.
According to the flattering review of the proceedings in the One Minute Left, cabinet secretary Justin Eckl did indeed raise this issue, only to be overruled by the apparent general consensus that despite lack of student input, elected representatives were obligated to make a decision since they were elected representatives.
Now I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t know how my LUCC representatives felt about World Bank bonds when I elected them. I remember that I had a choice on my ballot between some guy with posters of himself sitting in a trash can versus a person whose posters stated that she had vast leadership experience based on two terms on the honor roll.
To play it safe, I went with the honor roll person. But that hardly gave her a mandate to choose for me and other students a position on the selling of World Bank bonds. I do not think that either one of these people, based on what little I know of them, is somehow more uniquely qualified to make that decision.
Does it really matter in the long run? Probably not. The school will continue not buying World Bank bonds, like it always has. The OML, CER, SLA, and the rest of the left-wing alphabet soup have a meaningless resolution to trumpet.
But this resolution shows the continued gap between the people sitting in Riverview and their uninformed constituency.