Students Divest, Assets Revealed

Rosemary Hanson

The Whitman Divestment Committee would like to inform the student body that it has no connection with the newly-founded Whitman Divestment Society, which was responsible for last week’s “parade.” They go on to request that the Divestment Society cease all further use of the term “divestment” as it is causing some confusion among the general student body based on a complete misunderstanding about the meaning of “divestment.”

Tension erupted Saturday when several students, having skimmed the leaflets placed in our mailboxes last week, decided that the Whitman Divestment Committee had not made significant enough strides toward their goal. However, it seems that they were unclear as to what these goals were. The Whitman Divestment Committee would like to stress yet again that “divestment” refers to the releasing of Whitman’s investments in oil companies. Though “divest” does indeed come from the old French desvestir (removal) and the Latin vestis (garment), in this context, THE REMOVAL OF CLOTHING IS NOT AT ALL IMPLIED.

However, this did not stop a cadre of newly initiated Divestment Society members from removing their garments and holding a rally outside of Memorial Hall on Saturday. Encouraged by the warm weather and air of camaraderie, many other students joined in on the fun until quite a large crowd had accumulated. At this point, students yelling “Divest Whitman!” formed a parade which continued through the streets of Walla Walla, startling the locals. The mood was quite exuberant, with Whitties waving shirts, pants and dresses in the air as they passed. A number of Walla Wallans joined in before the parade finally looped back toward campus as members of the Walla Walla police department looked on in shock and annoyance. Once back on campus, the rally largely dissipated, as sunset precipitated a drop in temperature that even the most hearty of Whitties found difficult to tolerate in their bare condition.

While the Whitman Divestment Committee appreciates the increased name recognition following last week’s “parade,” they must insist that the activities of the Whitman Divestment Society cease, or at least that the society change their name so as not to cause confusion. This is specifically true of the posters that have appeared around campus since the rally, sporting the jaunty slogan “Divest Whitman!” and the crude drawings of a number of indelicate organs. More on this story as it develops.+