The SJP resolution, titled “Resolution in Support of Corporate Accountability by the University of California, San Diego through Divestment from Corporations Profiting from Violent Conflict in Israel and Palestine,” called for a UC-wide divestment from companies such as General Electric and Northrup Grumman, which SJP argues are profiting from the “illegal siege, blockade, and occupation of Palestine.”
The vote had been scheduled to take place during the council meeting the previous week but was postponed to March 13 after miscommunication between A.S. Council, University Centers and the hired security firm caused liability issues for council after 2 a.m. This is the fourth discussion of the resolution in four years, following decisions by council to table the resolution in 2010 and 2011 and reject the resolution in 2012.
Last week’s vote, conducted with a secret ballot due to concerns over the safety and security of councilmembers, was finalized at 1:28 a.m. The meeting, which took place in the forum on the fourth floor of Price Center, was broadcast using a live stream for public viewing in the Student Sevices Center’s multipurpose room.
Prior to the vote, councilmembers addressed two resolutions proposed by Campuswide Senator Irene Chiang – one to declare neutrality on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and one to support socially responsible investment of UC funds. According to Chiang, the resolutions were proposed in order to seek compromise.
“My hope is that these resolutions address the vaolid concerns of our student body in regards to irresponsible UC investiments, while still respecting our constituents’ requests that the A.S. actions today do not alienate any part of our student body,” Chiang wrote in an email to council.
After a short dicussion, the resolution titled “Resolution in Support of Socially Responsible Divestment of UC Funds” was tabled until Week 1 of spring quarter.
The resolution was temporarily tabled due to councilmembers’ concerns that there was not enough time to review the resolution, which had been emailed to council earlier that day.
The second resolution, addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its effects on the UCSD campus, was also ultimately tabled after a long discussion that resulted in an unexpected executive meeting.
The SJP resolution, although passed by council, will have no effect on current UC investment practices, according to a 2010 statement by outgoing UC President Mark G. Yudof.
“The U.S. has not made any declaration regarding the state of Israel, and therefore, we will not bring a recommendation before the board to divest from companies doing business with the state of Israel,” Yudof said in the statement.
Following the March 13 meeting, Chancellor Khosla released a statement reiterating the University of California’s stance that a divestment resolution would not be brought before the UC Board of Regents.
“[Such] divestment is not the policy of the University of California,” Khosla said. “I am confident that our students will continue to engage in open, balanced and civil dialogue when discussing highly complex world issues that evoke strong feelings and emotions.”
Tritons for Israel and the Union of Jewish Students at UCSD also released a statement following the meeting condemning the passage of what they called a “symbolic” resolution.
“This resolution represents a step backwards for our campus, and a step backwards for the Israeli and Palestinian people,” the groups wrote in their statement. “It has created a hostile environment at UCSD and alienates the many Jewish students who feel targeted by it.”
Jewish and Pro-Israel students at UCSD have also released a “Vote of No Confidence for UC San Diego Associated Students Council” which calls for a “student government that is responsive to and respectful of students and campus communities.”
Their goal is to obtain 2000 signatures in support of the “vote of no confidence” to present to A.S. Council.
In protest of the resolution’s passage, several A.S. senators announced their resignations during Week 10, including Campuswide Senator Brad Segal. Eleanor Roosevelt College Senator Travis Miller resigned as well, due to reasons unrelated to the divestment resolution.