The Guidance Counselor On Divestment and Braces

Emily is not a licensed guidance counselor, but neither was Ann Landers.


Q:

This school preaches diversity and social justice. Why won’t they divest from harmful fossil fuel companies? It is hard to accept the fact that all of my money that I am paying to educate my whole person is only deepening the pockets of some very wealthy tycoons. Do you think there is any way out?


A:

Interestingly, this isn’t the first question I’ve gotten about why we won’t divest. First, everything you spend money on basically goes into the pockets of very wealthy tycoons. All the capital the school has sitting around is invested in an endowment. Endowments are usually conservatively invested. Maybe universities are slow to divest because the endowments probably go through a broker, and so it could certainly be at least moderately expensive to change what you’re invested in, especially if it’s just a few companies. Also, investing in fossil fuels companies is ridiculously cheap right now because of fracking, low gas prices, etc., and so it’s a bad time to sell. If SU had divested in 2013, they’d maybe be sitting pretty/prettier right now (they would have made more from selling the stocks). So I guess the moral of that story is to make the right decision earlier, and then you’d be ethical and rich. Basically, there’s potentially a financial argument on why they’re not divesting, but morally, I guess it comes down to prioritizing money over ethics. SU’s endowment is $210.6 million, which is pretty high, considering they were striving toward 170 in 2011. Therefore, they’re probably not investing a lot into these companies because the endowment would probably be lower if they were. Not that that matters, I know it’s the principle, too. Anyway, if you feel passionate about this, connect with SSA and join forces.


Q:

I recently got braces. Is having braces always unattractive? I remember when I was young and Ginger, from “As Told By Ginger” on Nickelodeon, had braces and everyone wanted them. Do you foresee this happening again?


A:

Look into Invisalign. And go home, you’re belligerent.


Emily

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