The President of the UC San Diego Student body takes a firm and principled stand AGAINST Divestment
It is not often that a student association has an opportunity to consider legislation and take a stand on issues of national and international import. As an Association, we have passed resolutions to promote what we believe and hope will make a better world. We have taken stances against sweat shop labor, unfair trade practices, and violations of civil rights. We aspire not only to be students in support of the progress of our own nation, but to also be global citizens who answer the call for aid. It is a basic civic duty awarded to us as a representative government, and one that is codified in our Constitution.
However, these past few days, I have watched as our campus climate has gotten worse. I have witnessed the creation of two competing groups and camps around a singular contentious issue: the consideration of a resolution at our ASUCSD Council meeting today. In many ways, I am watching history repeat itself.
Last year, when a resolution was proposed concerning the conflict in Gaza, two student groups came to several ASUCSD Council meetings, passionately defending and advocating for their world point-of-view, their perspective on an issue that even our best international leaders have yet to successfully resolve. Some of these students believed they were compelled to come to this meeting to defend a country they hold dear. Others came to the meeting advocating for peace and human rights, hoping to lead the Association towards what they argued was progress. What is tragic is that both groups were correct, incorrect, misinformed, and made some good and bad points. The issue was a complicated one, something that the ASUCSD Council was obviously ill-equipped to solve.
Now that a year has passed, we are still ill-equipped to resolve this issue. Consideration of this resolution today will only prove again for us one thing: that it is divisive. It is dividing our students, pitting groups against each other who are fighting to be represented by their student association. They should not have to fight for the voice of our Association. We could not call any resolution approved through this process representative of the students at our university. And thus, I do not believe our student association can or should take a stance on this resolution.
I am not here to choose or argue sides. For me, the most important consideration is the welfare of the student body at the University. Passage of this legislation will create a divide that violates the goals and purposes of our Association. To this end, I will be voting against the passage of this resolution. I urge my colleagues to do the same.
I am truly proud to be a part of the extraordinary institution that is UC San Diego. The University has given us these words to live by: Local Impact, National Influence, and Global Reach. Issues such as these prove that, as a student body, we are strong and passionate. Despite what happens in our Council tonight, remember that, together, we are Tritons, and that we will continue to make an impact wherever we go.
President, Associated Students
University of California, San Diego