Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
The student government at Chicago’s Loyola University passed an Israel divestment resolution for a second time, while a similar resolution was defeated at the University of Michigan.
On Tuesday, the Loyola United Student Government Association in a revote from a week ago passed the measure by a vote of 12-10 with nine abstentions. The resolution, which was proposed by the Loyola chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, calls on the university to remove its holdings from eight companies that provide equipment to Israel for use in the West Bank.
The association had voted 26-0, with two abstentions, to pass the resolution on March 19.
Student government president Pedro Guerrero can veto the resolution, but the student senate can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote, which is doubtful considering the small margin in favor of the boycotters. If the approval remains in place, the resolution becomes the official position of the student body and is presented to the administration.
The university in a statement issued last week said the resolution is not its position and it has not adopted the proposal.
“As a university, we welcome open dialogue and debate on differing points of view,” the statement said. “Proposals like this one benefit from broader campus discussion.”
Pro-Israel students, who have been assisted in their efforts to overturn the measure by the Metro Chicago Hillel and the Israel Education Center, reportedly may challenge the vote on procedural grounds since nine of the student senators who voted on the proposal also are members of Students for Justice in Palestine. They believe the senators should have recused themselves in keeping with the student honor code.
Also Tuesday, the Central Student Government of the University of Michigan reversed a decision to postpone indefinitely consideration of a divestment resolution before voting it down.
The vote, in front of hundreds of students, was 25-9 with five abstentions, the Michigan Daily reported.
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