Thousands of alumnae of Barnard College at New York’s Columbia University are calling on their alma mater to reject last week’s student referendum that asks the administration to support a boycott of Israel.
The students voted to ask their student government to demand that the administration divest from eight companies doing business with Israel.
The Student Government Association (SGA) executive committee is to vote Monday whether or not to accept the results of the referendum, which showed nearly two-thirds of the student body approved of divestment.
The petition by more than 2,000 alumni plus two college trustees says they are “deeply disappointed with the actions of the Barnard Student Government Association (SGA) regarding the recent divestment referendum.
“By presenting a nuanced and complex issue as one-sided and simple, it has biased the student body and failed in its duty to act as a neutral arbiter,” the petition states, describing the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel as “hateful.”
If the SGA council decides to accept the referendum results, a letter will be written, formally demanding the Barnard College Board of Trustees divest its finances from the eight firms whose business dealings are involved with Israel.