Hampshire Cedes to Demands To Sell S. African Holdings
Hampshire College administrators and trustees have conceded to student demands and have agreed to sell the college's stock in three companies with investments in South Africa.
In addition to stock in Exxon, Clarke Equipment and International Harvester Inc., the college plans to sell all its stock not bound by donor restrictions, Charles R. Longsworth, president of Hampshire College, said yesterday.
Longsworth said that the sold stock, worth about $250,000, would be reinvested in the fall, once adequate guidelines have been drawn up for stock investments. "We have been very remiss in not having a policy for investing stocks," he added.
The decision announced last Saturday ended the three-day occupation of administrative offices by students who were protesting the college's ownership of $39,000 worth of stock in Exxon, Clarke Equipment, International Harvester Inc., and Texaco.
The Texaco stock cannot be sold due to donor restrictions, Longsworth said.
Victor T. Fresco, a student spokesman, said yesterday, "We are pretty satisfied with the results." He added that the students had been supported over-whelmingly by the community and faculty who participated in the picketing.
"The students clearly had reasonable demands, which anyone would support," James Koplin, professor of Social Sciences at Hampshire, said yesterday.
"We are still concerned about student input in the college's investment policy," Fresco said. Though no specific proposals have been made about future stock decisions, Fresco said he doubts students would actually oversee what stocks are to be bought. However, students are sure to be included in the committee drawing up guidelines, he added.
Fresco said he did not think every single stock would be individually examined by the committee once the guidelines had been instituted. Rather, if any group protested a certain stock, it would be rescrutinized to see whether it satisfied the guidelines, he added.
The future guidelines are undetermined, but they will be in accordance with "ethical, moral and political views of the student body and faculty," Longsworth said.
Harvard administrators refused to meet similar demands made by Harvard students in 1972 protesting Harvard's ownership of stock in the Gulf Oil Corporation. The students objected to Gulf's tax payments to and other support of the Portuguese colonial regime in Angola.