Editor’s note: This letter to the editor was written by members of DIVEST BING.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, several members of DIVEST BING attended the Bearcats’ basketball game to express our discontent with the BAE Systems-sponsored halftime show. Several students in the stands held a banner, while others distributed information in the concessions area.
BAE Systems is a military contractor that profits primarily from its sale of weapons and surveillance technology to the American military and authoritarian governments throughout the world. The most striking example of this is the company’s role in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, providing Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia with the bombs that have been used to target Yemeni schools, farms and hospitals. BAE Systems also provides crucial military infrastructure, with one BAE Systems employee commenting, “If we weren’t [in Yemen], in seven to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”
In order to recruit new engineers to design, construct and maintain these tools of oppression, BAE Systems and military contractors like them exploit poor engineering students and students of color anxious to find work after graduation. These students are lured in with promises of high starting pay and career-boosting credentials. However, BAE Systems and contractors like them do not care about the well-being of our peers, whose skills may be put to better use in industries which do not profit from murder. The fact that the University allows these companies to recruit on our campus is disgraceful and unacceptable.
As DIVEST BING, we stand against the University’s complicity in industries that profit from death and human misery. We stand in solidarity with the people around the world that these companies harm, and with the students these companies seek to exploit.
DIVEST BING is a student-coordinated campaign for financial transparency and ethical investment at BU.