Two years ago, a UGM motion was passed telling YUSU that the students of York wanted to our Union to save its money with an ethical bank. Now, after a lot of work and effort, our Union does so. Gone are the days where we save our money with unethical investors. We no longer indirectly fund the arms trade or are, in some way, responsible for massive investment in fossil fuel extraction.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for saving the Earth and not killing people. But where do we draw the line? Lives are important, but they’re dictated by the flow and availability of money. When Northern Rock collapsed a few years ago everyone in the country was, indirectly, forced to spend money to safeguard people’s investments. But a dramatic bailout cannot happen on a regular basis, especially with younger banks.
We need to trust long-established banks with a history of stability
I’m not one to criticise YUSU; the Sabbatical officers work very hard and don’t deserve a lot of the high profile disapproval they get. At the end of the day, the decisions made are because our elected officers believe the results will benefit students at York. The decisions they make, especially regarding money, can significantly affect future generations of Sabbs to come afterwards though, as well as their ability to fulfil their own policy ambitions.
In this situation, sensible and economic banking must take precedence. The future of our Union relies on sensible and safe money management. All profits made by Your:Shop and the Courtyard go straight back to YUSU. This money is then used to fund both sports, welfare and student activities, from this paper to Drama Soc.
Clearly, money is one of the most important assets to any business or organisation. Basing how we risk one of our key assets around the idea that our views will distantly affect how a bank decides how it invests is foolish. In a world without economic confidence, we need to trust long-established banks with a history of stability.
Putting ethics before common sense is thoughtless. I only hope that the hard work our Sabbatical officers do doesn’t go to waste and put future Sabbs at a disadvantage. At least we’ll be saving the planet though, won’t we?
Edited 24th Feb: Disreputed sentence removed.