Monday, May 27, 2013

ASUC Judicial Council : UC Berkeley divestment is unconstitutional

From the Daily Cal:

The ASUC Judicial Council has ruled parts of controversial divestment bill SB 160 unconstitutional, removing clauses that require the ASUC to divest from companies affiliated with the Israeli military.
In an opinion released Sunday, the council ruled that the ASUC Senate lacked the authority to divest ASUC funds, saying that investment decisions must be made by the ASUC Investment Committee.
“The ASUC Senate has no constitutional power to craft specific investment policies,” the opinion states. “According to the By-Laws, the only body in the ASUC with the authority and expertise to write investment policy is the Investment Committee. Thus, when the ASUC specified companies by name and issued strict directives such as ‘will divest’ in SB 160, it overstepped its legislative bounds.”
The ASUC decision, and all the UC Student Senate decisions are merely symbolic acts. The UC Regents, the governing body of the University of California  rejected  the option of divestment from Israel in 2005.   From a May 2010 statement  by the University of California Regents’ Chair and Vice Chair along with the UC President:

“The overarching question of the University of California divesting from any company is a complex one and any action considered must conform to State and federal laws, as well as to the University’s fiduciary responsibilities as a public entity to protect the security of its pension and endowment funds.  In 2005, the Regents stated that a policy of divestment from a foreign government shall be adopted by the University only when the United States government declares that  a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. It was also noted at the time that divestment is a serious decision that should be rarely pursued....”


Former ASUC Senator George Kadifa, the sponsor of the divestment bill declares "victory" in the face of his bill being declared unconstitutional. After all, when they "lose" they  "win". Note please, his ready admission that  none of the companies listed for divestment were actually held by the ASUC.  Do you need any more proof that the parasitical SLP, the MSA and their handlers are willing to put their school and their classmates through a divisive time-consuming and agonizing process simply to further their narrow political agenda? 

"Hello Everyone,

I want to provide a final update on SB 160. On May 26th at 2:12 pm Judicial Council released their final verdict on SB 160. The final verdict is attached to this note containing a final copy of the bill. Out of a 2,932-word bill J Council removed exactly 31 words. All essential clauses calling upon the UC Regents and Berkeley campus to divest were left completely intact. The only words removed were non-essential language added at the 11th hour calling upon the ASUC to divest their funds. (The ASUC has no investments in companies profiting from the occupation and likely never will, as the Boston Trust already follows stringent  ethical investment guidelines).

SB160 passed through the legislative body, withstood a veto threat by the executive body, and the amended version of the bill has been approved as constitutional by the judicial body. There are no more hurdles the opposition can put this bill through; this bill is an official statement on behalf of the ASUC a body that represents the 35,000 students at the University of California at Berkeley.

This bill was made possible by the tireless work of hundreds of individuals and parties involved.

To the many SJP members who pushed this issue forward: Ley, Isabel, Norah, Andrea, Nathan, Husam, Taliah, Tom, Maggie, Emiliano, Joe, Jessica, and Taqwa to name but a few. Your work and dedication paid off.

To the MEMSA community at large when we all work together there is nothing we can’t do.

To the Calserve communities and in particular to their party chairs Anais LaVoie and Salih Muhammed. You were unwavering and steadfast allies. This would have been impossible with out you.

To the Senators who found the courage to stand for human rights even for a very silenced people; Nolan Pack, Jorj Pacheco,Megan Majd, Sadia Saifuddin, Emily Chen, Nils Gilbertson, Klein Lieu, Sidronio Jacobo, Daley Vertiz, and DeeJay Pepito you were all amazing

To EAVP Shahryar Abassi for his incredible oratory skills and for EVP Justin Sayarath for maintaining his objectivity. Thank you.

To President Connor Landgraf the Dwight Eisenhower of the story thank you for keeping your promise even though it may have been a difficult one to keep

A special thank you to the time and energy of those that defended SB 160 in court. Nolan Pack, Jorj Pacheco, Liz Jackson you were all fantastic

A shout out to Judicial Council for putting up with Noah Ickowitz for a month and half I’m sure that must have been a challenging experience.

To a certain egocentric, ragingly narcissistic, self interested, self aggrandizing, self victimizing and enormously self-important AIPAC bought Senator(You know who you are and so does everyone else) – Thank you for your contributions to the debate you made this a more lively and exciting experience for all of us,

To AIPAC and its minions- (including of course the previous after mentioned senator) it takes true political skill and brilliance to defend your completely indefensible and morally bankrupt position. You did so spectacularly. What your arguments lacked in honesty they made up for in creativity. Hopefully that political skill could be better used someplace else.

To J Street for their well-intentioned schizophrenia. You were our most formidable opponents, now hurry up and change sides already you would make better allies.

To the many folks that helped out in many ways but couldn’t be mentioned in the space allotted. To all those who helped but whose names must be kept secret, thank you as well, you know who you are and you were indispensable.

And last but certainly not least for the courage and heroism of the many Palestinian students at Berkeley you were an inspiration to us all.

SB 160 has passed, Berkeley students have spoken and have demanded that their university and the UC Regents divest from the occupation of Palestine. This is just the beginning.

Next stop the Regents.

Roll on You Bears!!!!"


Stop BDS Park Slope said...

Could you in 500 words or less explain who has the decision making authority for University of California system? What is ASUC? It has been confusing enough following BDS at all the University of California campuses votes: UCSD, UCSB, USB - we New Yorkers can't keep that straight in our head!

Thank you,

Dusty said...

The ASUC is the name of the student governing body at UC Berkeley.

Maybe this will help: its a webpage Featuring the organizational charts for the University of California, as well as for the individual campuses

Anonymous said...

UCB has fallen so low.