WE, the undersigned students, alumni, staff, and faculty of the University of Denver, as well as surrounding community members, draw the attention of the University Administration to the following:
We are cognizant of and strongly oppose the various human rights and environmental abuses committed by Newmont Mining and other corporations affiliated with DU. Newmont Mining is responsible for a cyanide spill in Ghana in 2009 that resulted in contaminated drinking water and irreversible environmental degradation. In addition, Newmont Mining has ignored and even actively repressed mass public protests over its operations in Peru, where considerable toxic contamination has occurred, including a mercury spill that affected over 1,000 people. Nearby in Arizona, Newmont Mining played an integral role in the forced displacement of over 14,000 American Indians, so that it could profit from access to mineral resources on Navajo ancestral lands. Despite these and other appalling examples of human rights and environmental abuses, the University of Denver maintains a close relationship with Newmont Mining; the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business receives a minimum of $50,000 a year from Newmont Mining, making it one of the top three donors. We hereby denounce the University of Denver’s continued affiliation with Newmont Mining and other corporate donors guilty of similar misconduct.
THEREFORE we demand that the University Administration take the following actions:
1. Make a public statement to the DU community and the University’s donors and corporate partners denouncing the human rights violations and environmental abuses committed by Newmont Mining and other corporations affiliated with the University of Denver.
2. Cease accepting donations from Newmont Mining.
3. Create a committee to review the human rights and environmental practices of major corporate donors. Students, staff, and faculty shall constitute a majority of this committee, in addition to a representative of the Administration.
-The committee will release a public statement detailing the standards of corporate responsibility and ethics that any corporation must uphold in order to be affiliated with DU. This includes donations, academic and internship programs, privileged access to advisory and board positions, etc.
-Based on these standards, the committee will undertake a six-month comprehensive review of all corporate donors who do not meet these guidelines.
-The committee will have the authority to discontinue or modify relationships, including ceasing accepting donations, with corporate donors if environmental or social concerns are found during the review process.
4. Remove all current and former corporate executives with ties to corporations that do not meet the standards determined by the aforementioned committee from decision-making or advisory positions at the University of Denver.
We expect a response from the administration to this petition within 30 days of submission.