During this time, the University has held over a million pounds of shares in BAE systems and Rolls Royce, though the figure is now thought to be much lower due to the decline in demand from the US as the Iraq war is wound down.
The march gathered at around 12noon, and a banner was unfurled from nearby Central Hall. After speeches, chanting and music from an impromptu band made mostly of pots and wooden spoons, the march set off round the lake, passing by several departments before heading to Heslington Hall and assembling on the lawn.
The University had agreed to bring the matter before the Policy and Resources committee the previous Friday, and, if the committee backed it, to put it before the University's ruling Council the next Friday. The University had used the unavailability of the Student Union's President put off a decision till next term.
However, during a meeting which took place between 3 protesters and the University's registrar and finance officer, it was decided to give the student's requests a hearing at University Council without the requirement to go to the committee stage first. Although investment in the arms trade was not ruled out during the talks, the University's delegation seemed very concerned that BAE's recent Saudi Arms Scandal looked bad for the University as a shareholder. It is hoped that the University will be confirming its completion of divestment by the end of this term.