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Divestment Resolution Passes Again at Loyola, Falls at Michigan

March 27, 2014 By:
JTA
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Michigan University made national headlines as a debate raged amongst its student body over a proposed anti-Israel bill. Photo from Wikimedia.

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 March 24, 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 vetoed the resolution on March 26, but the student senate can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote. 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 does not reflect its views.

“This is not the position of Loyola University Chicago and we will not adopt this proposal,” the university stated. “As a university, we welcome open dialogue and debate on differing points of view. Proposals like this one benefit from broader campus discussion.”

Guerrero said he made the decision because the “diversity of thought on campus was not taken into consideration.”

Pro-Israel students have been assisted in their efforts to overturn the measure by the Metro Chicago Hillel and the Israel Education Center. The students 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 on March 25, the Central Student Government of the University of Michigan voted down a divestment resolution after saying last week it was postponing indefinitely consideration of the measure.

The vote, in front of hundreds of students, was 25-9 with five abstentions, the Michigan Daily reported.

More than 2,000 students watched a live stream of the six-hour meeting, according to the student newspaper.

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