Student Spotlight, Students of Clark

Student Sketch: Student Starts Environmental Action Club to Encourage More Eco-Friendly Practices

Chloe Marshall, 19, is scared for her future.

Marshall has wanted to take action to help combat the climate crisis, but for quite a while, she didn’t know where to begin. By starting the Environmental Action Club at Clark College this year, Marshall intends to create a space where anyone can take action and advocate.

Marshall (left) poses with the other co-president, Katelyn Sedig (right), next to their Involvement Fair poster which drew in a multitude of students who signed the divestment petition. (Photo provided by Chloe Marshall)

“We’re a club dedicated to shifting the tide from climate change awareness to action.” Marshall says. “We want to take real, dedicated steps to fighting the climate crisis.”

The Environmental Action Club first started spreading the word about their ideas at the Involvement Fair at Clark College on Sept. 22.

At the fair, Marshall, the co-president, put out the club’s petition, to encourage students to support their campaign to have the Clark College Foundation, an organization that donates funds to Clark College, officially disclose how they are spending their money. Specifically, regarding the fossil fuel industry.

The foundation is a non-profit that receives funds from Clark College alumni as well as other individuals and organizations. When asked whether they are investing in the fossil fuel industry, the foundation responded by saying they will be providing that information in the near future. 

The Environmental Action Club wants a definitive answer, and a change in spending. The club’s solution to the problem is divestment.

“Most universities are giving money to the fossil fuel industry, so we want to make sure they [Clark] aren’t doing that.” Marshall says. “And if they are, we want to encourage them to divest.”

Marshall is finishing up her associate degree at Clark this term, but she is aiming to get the club chartered.

“If you are interested in preserving your future, if you are afraid of climate change, if you want to help but you don’t know where to start, this is a really good place to start,” says Marshall.

The Environmental Action Club meets every Friday at 3 p.m. in PUB 161 and are planning a tree planting for Nov.6. More information about the Environmental Action Club and their activities, can be found on their website. You can contact Chloe Marshall at (360)-448-5448 or at clarkclimateaction@gmail.com.

The Indy interviewed Marshall during the first week of fall term to hear from students as Clark resumed in-person classes. Other articles can be found in our Student Sketch series.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that the Clark College Foundation declined to disclose whether it invested in the fossil fuel industry. The foundation has not yet provided that information. The Indy regrets this error.

Update Oct. 21: On Oct. 14, the foundation gave the Indy a statement that they have no direct investment in the fossil fuel industry. However, they said that there may be indirect investments.

2 Comments

  1. Clark College Foundation is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support Clark College through philanthropic contributions and effective asset investment strategies.

    The foundation is self-financed and governed by an independent board of directors and staffed by non-college employees. Because Clark College Foundation is not governed by the college (a state-funded institution) the foundation’s donor records and investment partners are privately and securely maintained and managed.
    Clark College Foundation maintains rigorous review protocols and procedures when it comes to gift acquisition and investment strategies. Discussions about potentially controversial gifts are ultimately decided by the foundation’s executive committee.

    Investment options related to the foundation’s assets are reviewed regularly by the foundation’s investment committee. Clark College Foundation’s policy to consistently review investment options ensures prudent financial management of foundation assets, particularly the institution’s significant endowment.
    Specifically, Clark College Foundation doesn’t have direct investments in fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas companies.

    In other words, the foundation does not seek out or directly invest its assets in so-called fossil fuel enterprises.
    The majority of the foundation’s investment portfolio consists of mutual funds and limited partnerships, so exposure to industries associated with fossil fuels is small or indirect.

    The funds generated from donor gifts, as well as the foundation’s investment management program, provide millions of dollars in critical support to Clark students, faculty and staff. Over the last 10 years, Clark College Foundation contributed an average of approximately $3.5 million annually to the college for scholarships, programs and capital support. Without these funds, Clark College would be a much different institution, unable to serve many pressing needs of students and academicians.

    The foundation takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously. Its history of impeccable annual audits speaks to the integrity of our commitment to the highest ethical standards.

  2. Clark College Foundation is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support Clark College through philanthropic contributions and effective asset investment strategies.

    The foundation is self-financed and governed by an independent board of directors and staffed by non-college employees. Because Clark College Foundation is not governed by the college (a state-funded institution) the foundation’s donor records and investment partners are privately and securely maintained and managed.

    Clark College Foundation maintains rigorous review protocols and procedures when it comes to gift acquisition and investment strategies. Discussions about potentially controversial gifts are ultimately decided by the foundation’s executive committee. Investment options related to the foundation’s assets are reviewed regularly by the foundation’s investment committee. Clark College Foundation’s policy to consistently review investment options ensures prudent financial management of foundation assets, particularly the institution’s significant endowment.

    Specifically, Clark College Foundation doesn’t have direct investments in fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas companies. In other words, the foundation does not seek out or directly invest
    its assets in so-called fossil fuel enterprises.

    The majority of the foundation’s investment portfolio consists of mutual funds and limited partnerships, so exposure to industries associated with fossil fuels is small or indirect.

    The funds generated from donor gifts, as well as the foundation’s investment management program, provide millions of dollars in critical support to Clark students, faculty and staff. Over the last 10 years, Clark College Foundation contributed an average of approximately $3.5 million annually to the college for scholarships, programs and capital support. Without these funds, Clark College would be a much different institution, unable to serve many pressing needs of students and academicians.

    The foundation takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously. Its history of impeccable annual audits speaks to the integrity of our commitment to the highest ethical standards.

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