Here's a closer look at Stanford's ties, which companies protesting students want divestment from

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Sunday, April 28, 2024
Which companies do protesting Stanford students want divestment from?
Saturday marks Day 3 of pro-Palestinian demonstrations at Stanford University. Here's a closer look at the school's ties and students' demands.

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Saturday marks the third day of pro-Palestinian demonstrations at Stanford University.

Students have set up a "People's University" encampment, similar to other universities across the country, and their message remains the same: they want the university to stop investing in companies advancing military efforts in the Israel-Hamas war.

A cardboard cutout of Stanford University President Richard Saller, with blood on his hands, and signs calling for divestment are greeting newly admitted students at Stanford's spring Admit Weekend.

"We want Stanford University to pull all of its funding from companies that are helping facilitate Israeli war crimes," Adriana, a Stanford junior said.

It's unclear how many students slept there Friday night, but more than two dozen tents are still set up on the campus' White Plaza.

RELATED: Stanford protests continue as university's Admit Weekend kicks off for incoming students

Stanford Admit Weekend has kicked off with an encampment of protesters situated in the center of the campus' White Plaza.

They've been there since Thursday, for what demonstrators are calling a "People's University for Palestine."

This demonstration drew support from a parent of an incoming political science student visiting from Georgia.

"So it appealed me. 'Let's go,' and I have a couple of hours, and offer them whatever help I can do for them being a parent. Maybe I can consult them or do a donation. I just went and asked them, but I truly appreciate the way they stand up," Chandran Bai Oad said.

Adriana, a spokesperson for the group says they're aligned in solidarity with other schools nationwide.

They're demanding Stanford separate itself from any companies or organizations advancing military efforts in the Israel-Hamas war.

And they're calling out three well-known companies.

RELATED: Pro-Palestinian protests continue at Bay Area universities

"Stanford has ties with Lockheed Martin, Stanford has ties with Chevron, with HP, and all three of those companies are hurting the Palestinian people in some way or another," Adriana said. "I mean, Lockheed Martin is more directly through weapons, right? But then there's technology, then there's gas."

Stanford said that divestment decisions are made by Stanford's Board of Trustees.

"In 2015, the Board declined a proposal to divest of certain companies doing business in Israel," Luisa Rapport, a spokesperson for Stanford University said in a statement.

They say that decision has remained in place ever since.

They also say it doesn't impact Stanford's endowment, which the university website shows is $36.5 billion, as of last August.

RELATED: 'Free Palestine' encampment set up on UC Berkeley campus in solidarity with students arrested

That's one of the largest in the country.

"The university's endowment has no direct holdings in Israeli companies, or direct holdings in defense contractors, beyond small exposures resulting from passive funds that track broad indexes, such as the S&P 500," Rapport said.

But students say, they want more transparency.

"Stanford refuses to disclose its investments, like where it puts its money, and that's another thing we'd like the school to do, to tell us where exactly its money is going," Adriana said.

Students are circulating a petition being voted on, formally calling for divestment.

More than 1,600 students have signed it so far.

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