Students vocalize concern over ISS proposed non-discriminatory alignment resolution
November 13, 2014
Public comment dominated Wednesday night’s Illinois Student Senate meeting, as students took to the podium to debate whether the senate should remain unaligned with groups representing different sides of geopolitical conflicts.
Senators were introduced to a proposed resolution that would prevent the senate from supporting any campus-based activities, programs or groups that cause disrespectful bias or hostility against an individual or campus group because of race, religion, orientation or origin.
The resolution states the senate would not align itself with any “boycott, divestment, and sanction measures rooted in national origin or other identity-based features that can cause students to be targeted on the basis of nationality,” in an effort to reaffirm its commitment to Inclusive Illinois.
Members refused to take a stance as a senate, as they believed they represent the entire student body and needed to represent diverse interests and views.
Angelica Sanchez, a senior in FAA and LAS, opposed the resolution, and spoke against it during the meeting.
“They should allow for conversations and for dialogue to continue, not to not take a stance by not taking a stance, because you’re taking a stance if you don’t,” Sanchez said.
Noah Feingold, junior in LAS, said he supports the proposed resolution. While he thinks the University should remain open to dialogue and conversation regarding geopolitical conflict, he believes that ISS is not the place for it, nor should it be required to have an official stance.
“It creates a hostile, divisive and often scary environment,” Feingold said. “I think that the student senate has already demonstrated that it does not stand behind boycott based on national origin. I think it’d be cool to get a resolution that puts that forward in writing.”
Ryan Brown, student senator and author of the resolution, agreed.
Senators sent the resolution to be discussed further within the committee on internal affairs. If it is released from committee, the full senate will vote on it in weeks to come.
Charlotte can be reached at [email protected]