Official statements such as City Council or Student Body Resolutions are a key means of bringing pressure to bear in support of justice for Bhopal. They do so in two key ways:
- They lend credibility to our campaign, and undermine the credibility of Dow.
- They help quantify our campaign's mainstream strength and support, which can help us leverage further support for our efforts. For example: Dow shareholders are more likely to pressure Dow to address Bhopal when city resolutions begin to tarnish Dow’s reputation and interfere with business.
These resolutions aren’t only embarrassing for Dow – they represent a direct threat to its reputation, its credibility, and the future of its business. As expressions of credible and mainstream opposition to Dow’s policies in Bhopal, City Council resolutions help set the stage for further legislative action, regulation, and shareholder action. Widespread, mainstream opposition never bodes well for corporations – as Dow itself has painfully learned. Instead Dow runs the risk of becoming the next Big Tobacco – a cruel and heartless industry that has zero credibility and zero political cover. When legislatures can sue you, regulate you, tax you and fine you with impunity, and when major institutions dump your shares at any price – that is corporate hell. The place no corporation wants to be.
Check out these past City and University Resolutions
Bloomington City Council Resolution – Dec 2009 [pdf]Berkeley City Council Resolution – May 2009 [pdf]Cambridge Resolution – September 2006 [pdf]Seattle City Resolution – November 2005 [pdf]University of California at Berkeley – December 2004 [pdf]San Francisco Resolution – December 2004 [pdf]
Is Dow on your University Campus?
As of 2007, Dow’s giveaways to colleges and universities totaled more than $60 million. That kind of money buys a lot of influence. And while the projects Dow funds may not themselves always be objectionable (who can complain about a nice lecture now and then?), we shouldn’t have to measure the cost in human life. The fact that Dow has not acted to stop the ongoing contamination of tens of thousands, for which it is responsible, is inhumane, unjust, and immoral. Dow’s evasion of responsibility in Bhopal means that another life is lost each day, and there’s no reason why our schools should be complicit in the crime by accepting Dow’s blood money.
Dow Recruitment On Campus
Does Dow recruit on your campus? If you’re at a medium- to large-sized university known for your programs in chemistry, engineering, business, or bullshit, it probably does. There are a few important reasons to interfere with Dow’s Recruitment efforts:
- Dow should be faced with questions about Bhopal each and every time they are in public talking about the work they do.
- Perhaps you think that a company as Dirty as Dow shouldn’t be allowed to recruit at a fine institution such as yours. Many Indian Institutes of Technology have bared Dow from recruiting on campus.
- At the very least you can make their life difficult by giving their potential employees the other side of the story–the story that they won’t be getting in the interview room.
Researching Contributions from Dow
Dow buys influence at schools across the country by funding buildings, renovations, endowed professorships, programs, science centers, scholarships, research, lecture series, conferences, and by making grants to schools and individual departments. Sometimes Dow participates in advisory boards that may help oversee such things as faculty hiring, student recruitment, curriculum content, and graduate research programs. Funding may come directly from the Dow Corporation, or may be channeled through the Dow Foundation or one of its subsidiaries. Dow typically funds engineering departments, business schools, and public health departments, but it may also fund environmental departments, risk assessment research, or technical training programs.
Has Dow bought influence at your school? If your school is public, you should be able to find out by filing an Open Records Request. For a list of Universities that we know that Dow has donated to, see the link: http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/DowAtMySchool.htm, which has information that was compiled a few years ago. It reveals that Dow has donated more than $60 million to schools across the country, and that colleges and universities, in turn, have invested nearly $120 million in Dow.
If Dow is on your campus, take action! Check out a list of great action ideas here!