Statement: Divestment Vote

A statement from our current (and incoming) President, regarding the University Court's vote on divestment from the arms industry.


Following the meeting of the Court on June 18, we find it necessary to address our fellow students and the wider community to reaffirm the SRC’s pro-divestment stance, express our frustrations with the Court's proceedings, and to emphasise the urgent need for divestment from the arms industry.

Despite lasting an extended four hours, Court was unable to provide a conclusive vote on divestment from the arms industry. This omission is profoundly disappointing, especially considering the extensive advocacy and clear mandate from the student body and our staff counterparts. The Court's decision to delay the final decision until November, while agreeing to undertake a full consultation, is a step forward, but it falls short of the decisive action our community expects and deserves.

Our frustration is not just with the outcome, but with the process. The management of the meeting, as noted by several members, was inadequate. The failure to allow proper discussion and the inability to minute objections in real time has undermined the democratic process and left many of us feeling that our voices were not sufficiently heard. We have addressed our concerns privately to the incoming convenor of Court and to the University Secretary.

We are concerned that the Court's hesitation and the ongoing delays in making a firm commitment to divestment reflect a reluctance to fully embrace the ethical responsibilities that our institution claims to uphold. Our university, renowned for its commitment to social justice and ethical investment, must align its financial practices with its stated values. The involvement in the arms industry is in direct conflict with these principles and perpetuates human suffering, particularly in conflict zones like Gaza.

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has maintained a pro-divestment stance for over a decade. This stance is not an isolated position but is supported by a significant portion of the student body, as evidenced by the growth of the GAAF movement, numerous petitions, and the recent election of our Rector who was elected with a strong mandate for divestment.

It is crucial that the University of Glasgow recognises and acts upon this mandate. The continued investment in the arms industry is not only a moral failure but also a contradiction to the University’s mission of being a leader in ethical practices and social justice. We urge the Court to take immediate and decisive action in the upcoming consultations and ensure that the November meeting leads to a clear and unequivocal commitment to divestment.

We will continue to advocate for this cause and hold the University accountable to its ethical standards. We expect the SRC's role and the broader student body's voice to be respected in all future discussions and decisions related to this issue.

Hailie Pentleton-Owens, SRC President (23/24) Pablo Moran Ruiz, SRC Court Assessor and Incoming SRC President (24/25)