GMU STUDENTS LAND SUPREME COURT HEARING
Transparent GMU Donor Agreement Appeal Accepted by the Virginia Supreme Court
Fairfax, VA: Despite George Mason being a public university, donor agreements with the Koch Foundation have been kept from students, faculty, and Virginia taxpayers. The donations are funneled through GMU’s private foundation, which they claim is not subject to open records laws.
Transparent GMU took action and sued the GMU Foundation to release the documents. Represented by Appalachian Mountain Advocates, the students had their case heard by the Honorable Judge John M. Tran on April 24, 2018. When the judge ruled against them at the district level, the students immediately filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Virginia. Last month, the students at GMU sat in on a writ panel and had their appeal granted on March 12, 2019. A hearing date has not yet been set.
“Transparent GMU is excited to announce that the Supreme Court of Virginia will hear our case against the George Mason University Foundation sometime during this upcoming summer” said student, Sara Deriso. “After 8 years of dedicated work on the issue of transparency surrounding private donor agreements, we are so ecstatic that with support from Mason students, faculty, and community members, our case has been able to reach the highest court in the commonwealth. We would like to thank all the students, faculty, and community organizers for supporting and uplifting this organization throughout the years.”
Between 2005 and 2017, the Koch Foundation has given $129 million in donations to GMU — that’s more than their contributions to every other school they’ve funded combined. George Mason is the crowning jewel of the Koch academic network. GMU is home to the Mercatus Center, Koch’s leading anti-regulatory think tank and the Institute for Humane Studies, the Koch network’s “talent pipeline” hub.
About UnKoch My Campus: UnKoch My Campus is dedicated to uniting students, faculty and alumni who are working to increase transparency on campus & fighting attempts by corporate donors like the Koch brothers from influencing their education.