A large majority of UVM’s faculty senate passed a resolution in favor of removing fossil fuel companies from the endowment at its meeting on March 11, making it the first faculty senate in the nation to formally support divestment.

"This is a true milestone for our campaign," first-year Brian Thompson told the Vermont Cynic. “The fact that we have been able to get such support from the community definitely shows that the idea of divestment has pretty clear consensus on campus.”

The resolution requested that the board of trustees eliminate all stock holdings in the top 200 fossil fuel companies by February 2017, most notably from the Blackrock All-Cap Energy portfolio that is “most heavily” invested in fossil fuels, the resolution stated.

Becoming the first public university to divest the endowment from fossil fuel companies became more likely February 5, when SGA backed the club’s proposal by a vote of 23-9.

If UVM commits to divestment, it will be the only public university and the largest university to do so. Four other colleges have committed to divestment including Unity College and College of the Atlantic in Maine, Hampshire College in Massachusetts and Sterling College in Vermont.

There are currently more than 300 divestment chapters at US colleges coast to coast.