To the Editor:

Talk about damning with faint praise. Apparently Yale is slightly better than awful when it comes to socially responsible investment. Break out the fair-trade champagne.

Ross Goldberg reports that “Yale falls within a 28 percent minority of schools that took social responsibility into account when making investment decisions” (“Schools have not reformed investments,” 1/24). What exactly “[taking] social responsibility into account” means, he never says. Meanwhile, thanks to GESO and its allies, we now know of Yale’s lingering investment in private prison company Corrections Corporation of America, a firm condemned by Amnesty International for human rights abuses ranging from torture to sexual assault. And surprise, surprise: Yale’s CCA investment is strung through Farallon, the very same fund responsible for our Sudanese ties.

Only after escalating pressure from students, faculty and community members has the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility finally promised a meeting on the matter. We’ll have to wait until March to see if the meeting actually happens or if any good comes of it. But if the ACIR were doing its job, it wouldn’t wait for community agitation to “take social responsibility into account.” It would just take social responsibility into account.

I suspect our commitment to social responsibility comes in at the low end of that 28 percent minority. We’d never settle for the 28th percentile when it comes to our admissions rates. Why should we be so complacent when it comes to our money?

Michael Yarbrough LAW ’07 GRD ’09

Jan. 25, 2006