In recent weeks, college students on dozens of campuses have demanded that university endowment funds rid themselves of coal, oil and gas stocks. The students see it as a tactic that could force climate change, barely discussed in the presidential campaign, back onto the national political agenda.This was a prominent tactic some years ago to get colleges and universities withdrawing their endowment funds from businesses that doing business in South Africa in the apartheid era, the Times notes:
The divestment demand is so new that most administrators are just beginning to grapple with it. Several of them, in interviews, said that even though they tended to agree with students on the seriousness of the problem, they feared divisive boardroom debates on divestment.
That was certainly the case in the 1980s, when the South African divestment campaign caused bitter arguments across the nation.
... the campaign required prominent people to grapple with the morality of apartheid, altering the politics of the issue. Economic pressure from many countries ultimately helped to force the whites-only South African government to the bargaining table.