This week, we invited hundreds of members of the class of 2028 to attend Bulldog Days events at Dwight Hall, Yale’s Center for Public Service and Social Justice. We told them how Dwight Hall can support them while they volunteer, learn about careers and join student groups. What is harder to tell students is that these activities are funded by an endowment that profits from war. The Yale Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility released a statement opposing divestment from military weapons manufacturers on Wednesday, making it more critical than ever for the campus community to continue the push for divestment. Student groups have a role to play. 

Dwight Hall is both a part of the Yale community and is an independent 501(c)(3) organization with its own endowment, which totals over $12 million. In 2008, Yale agreed to manage the majority of Dwight Hall’s endowment — totaling $11,537,356 at the end of the last fiscal year — as part of the Yale University Endowment portfolio. 

The Yale Student Environmental Coalition, or YSEC, is in a similar position. As a student-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit, YSEC relied upon a variety of funding sources before receiving an endowment donation in the 2000s. This endowment was specifically directed for Yale management and YSEC’s yearly budget is now largely determined by the returns on this sum, itself totalling around $250,000. YSEC has previously reached out about removing the fund from the Yale Investments Office’s control but has been met with complete opposition.

According to research from the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, or EJC, published in February, Yale has millions of dollars of investments that are exposed to defense contractors and weapons manufacturers that facilitate war and mass atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza. Yale has over 6,400 shares in an exchange-traded fund, or ETF, that includes Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon in its portfolio. Yale owns an additional “342,000 shares of an international ETF that includes international weapons and war corporations in its portfolio.” Yale also employs asset managers that invest heavily in weapons suppliers. The full extent of Yale’s weapons ties is unknown due to Yale’s lack of transparency. 

The Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee affirms that the resources of Dwight Hall should not be invested in industries that contradict our mission of social justice and public service. The Yale Student Environmental Coalition asserts that no one should profit off of genocide and environmental destruction, and the decisions of the Yale Investments Office are completely against what YSEC stands for as an organization and what its members value as human beings. Dwight Hall and YSEC, as a collection of students committed to equity and service, maintain that any involvement in such industries is a moral failure, which we cannot condone. 

Dwight Hall and YSEC’s situation is not unique. Almost every student group on this campus operates with support from the Yale Undergraduate Organization Funding Committee. When we book rooms in William L. Harkness Hall for a cappella rehearsal, or use the name “Yale” to promote our events to people around the world, we benefit from a university built atop an endowment that gives social license to war. 

Yale has immense power in setting cultural and political norms, especially since its institutional investment model is considered the industry standard and influences endowment management everywhere from universities like Princeton and Harvard to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yale is responsible for the message it sends to the world about which industries can and cannot be ethically invested in. In 2018, Yale divested from assault weapons in the wake of mass shootings in the U.S. because this was an industry that facilitated the tragic loss of life, and the university must similarly divest from military weapons. 

As student groups, we must call for divestment or else we will be collectively complicit in Yale’s investments in companies that enable war, mass atrocities, and genocide. We believe that endowment justice is the concern and responsibility of every group on campus. 

This February, YSEC and the Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee signed on to a list of demands that EJC wrote calling for Yale to disclose its investments in military weapons manufacturing and divest from all companies that profit from war, “including companies profiting from Israel’s war activities in Gaza.” 

The Yale Board of Trustees, the University’s governing body, is meeting on campus this Saturday. Dwight Hall’s Student Executive Committee and YSEC will continue calling for disclosure and divestment as partner organizations of the EJC. Your student group should join.  

As an individual, you can additionally send a letter to the Yale Corporation demanding immediate divestment from military weapons manufacturing here.


RENA LIU is a sophomore in Branford College and Junior Co-Coordinator of the Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee. Contact her at

AVERY DEWITT is a sophomore in Branford College and Institutional Service Coordinator of the Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee. Contact them at

SEBASTIAN DUQUE is a senior in Branford College and Executive Chair of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition. Contact him at

ROSE HANSEN is a junior in Benjamin Franklin College and Co-President of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition. Contact her at

MADELEINE ZARITSKY is a senior in Pauli Murray College and Executive Chair of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition. Contact her at