ISG may remove UIUC Divest from ballot
February 15, 2018
The Illinois Student Government proposed a resolution Wednesday to remove the UIUC Divest referendum from the ballot. The referendum asked the University to withdraw investments from companies that normalize, engage in or fund human rights violations.
According to the resolution, there was an increase in acts of intolerance on campus while this vote was on the ballot last year, including swastikas drawn on campus property.
“When I first heard about this resolution I thought it was a joke, not because it was funny, but because I didn’t think my own student government would side against me and my own human rights,” Dunia Ghanimah, sophomore in LAS and president of students for justice in Palestine, said during the meeting.
Ghanimah said ISG should be encouraging the student body to decide on whether it wants this referendum to pass and to not consider passing a resolution that will silence the discussion about the topic.
Sanah Al-Tayeb, freshman in LAS, said during public comment that the divest resolution is an infringement on freedom of speech.
UIUC Divest has increased discussion between Israelis and Palestinians on campus. Last year, it brought up the discussion on whether this ISG referendum was targeting Israel, since it mainly called for the University to remove support for Israel.
Though many thought that the act of educating students on where their tuition money goes was a success, the referendum was voted down by University students in last year’s election. Elan Karoll, junior in LAS, asked student leaders to say no.
“Students on this campus are sadly not afraid to spread hate against others,” Karoll said during public comment.
The resolution has been moved to committee.