A.S. Council Stands to Learn A Few Lessons From Divestment

However, I feel a bit sick too. Sick of council, that is.

Let me start with this: It is 9:15 p.m. at the Guardian office, and the A.S. Council meeting, which is being broadcast to the Student Services Center Multipurpose Room via a live feed — when it is not being temporarily stopped for a clandestine executive meeting — is still in full swing.

Thank goodness for my deadline, or I would still be in that multipurpose room, watching as A.S. Council counts votes to vote on how to vote on an amendment for a resolution that will be voted on after it is voted to be amended. And then they’ll vote on the divestment resolution. Or at least vote on voting on it.

This is the third consecutive council meeting focusing on the issue of the Students for Justice in Palestine resolution, which calls for a divestment from companies such as General Electric and Northrop Grumman, which are believed to be profiting from the “illegal siege and occupation of Palestine.”

So far, A.S. Council has spent over $4,000 in security and logistics expenses for its meetings regarding the issue and postponed its vote on the resolution last week after miscommunication forced council to shut down the meeting after 2 a.m. (which does not bode well for tonight’s meeting). And, might I add, students on council have had to accept “W’s” on their transcripts because the stress and time consumed by the past three weeks has just been too much. Something has got to change!

Which brings me to tonight’s meeting. After finance committee discussions, during which Tritunes, UCSD’s new music newspaper, was unfortunately denied funding for spring quarter, A.S. Council began to address divestment. In fact, I was quite pleased with the pace at which things were going.

But all that was about to change. Dramatic? I think not.

The SJP divestment resolution was tabled after a vote so that council could address two new resolutions brought to them by Campuswide Senator Irene Chang that morning.

“I think this resolution that we have on the table right now is extremely vague,” Campuswide Senator Summer Perez said. “This is germane to the document at hand. I haven’t really had time to thoroughly look through it, I don’t agree with a lot of the clauses in there — I just find it really disrespectful.”

And thus began a heated debate that culminated in council turning off its live feed to hold an executive meeting. Vague yelling was heard in the background. The group was shut down by Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life Gary Ratcliff. I then sat in the Multipurpose Room, watching a blank screen and trigger-friendly protesters. As I stated earlier, 9 p.m. could not come soon enough. A.S. Council had not made a decision by press time — and, to future councils, let that be a lesson.