Let this serve as a caution to other campuses considering the debate of BDS resolutions
From the Bruins against BDS
With sincere gratitude to the seven council members who voted against the Divestment resolution,
We’d like to thank you for hearing and considering all sides of the issue presented to you and fairly representing our voice on this campus for 9 hours at the USAC meeting on Tuesday, February 25th. We understand that this was not an easy decision for many of you. In no way do we claim the results of the vote as a victory. It is deeply saddening that all sides are left feeling extremely hurt by the hateful comments that were said during public comment. It is truly disappointing to see a campus so divided.
For this reason, we feel that your priorities are in the right place. You were elected to be a leader to effect tangible changes on our campus, not to bring divisive symbolic resolutions about global issues. This is a resolution that never should have been brought to the council table in the first place, as it failed to involve students who would be affected by the resolution in the creation process. Thank you for remaining consistent with your convictions stated in response to the resolution brought forth earlier this year. Many council members emphasized the importance of all voices being heard and represented, and you should be proud to have applied this standard equally to all student groups.
Please be confident that you stand on the right side of history with your decision. As proven unequivocally last night, the divestment resolution, if passed, would have been construed as a victory for the larger Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement which calls to demonize and delegitimize Israel, the only Jewish state in the world. This would violate the rights of Israelis to security and self determination. As such, it was viewed by much of the Jewish community as anti-Semitic and made students feel marginalized and unsafe on our campus.
Let us be clear in that we are in no way accusing the individuals in the room last night of being anti-Semitic. In fact, we believe that they too are fighting for a cause which they hold in their hearts to be true and just. To see a campus of intelligent, passionate people divided because of their convictions was truly unfortunate. This is exactly why this resolution had no place the Council table. Clearly, this resolution was not the answer to starting a healthy conversation or moving towards peace, but rather created widening schisms between individuals and communities. Ackerman Grand Ballroom was not a safe space for our students. In addition, we are disgusted to see the cyber bullying taking place towards human beings on either side of the conflict and we are so sorry that this hate may be something you and even the supporting Council members are dealing with; it is absolutely unacceptable.
We respect not only the result of the vote but also the way in which you conducted yourselves as honest, thoughtful representatives of the entire student body. We could not be more proud to stand by you all as our elected leaders.
From an article in the Daily Bruin:
During an initial straw vote, Hadjimanoukian, Financial Supports Commissioner Lauren Rogers, Academic Affairs Commissioner Darren Ramalho, Internal Vice President Avi Oved, General Representative Sunny Singh, Campus Events Commissioner Jessica Kim and General Representative Sam Haws voted against the resolution.
After nine hours of ripping the council and the community apart, not a single mind was changed, not a single vote was altered.In a second straw vote later in the meeting, no councilmembers changed their vote. Student Wellness Commissioner Savannah Badalich, Naameh, External Vice President Maryssa Hall, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Jessica Trumble and Arce still said they would support the resolution.