Swarthmore student gov spikes BDS resolution, but it might not be over...
- A Pennsylvania college's student government voted down a Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) resolution.
- One student government officer said that the body had only heard from Students for Justice in Palestine until right before the vote.
A Pennsylvania college’s student government rejected a resolution to condemn the school’s ties with Israel and companies that support it.
Earlier in February, Swarthmore College’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter proposed the resolution, which would have expressed support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, Voices Swarthmore reported.
At the time that the campaign was announced in October 2018, Swarthmore sophomore Zoe Jannuzi told Voices that she believes that BDS is a non-violent way to “condemn the actions of companies that enforce Israeli apartheid.”
When the school’s SJP group launched its campaign, several students shared their perspectives on the matter, standing in front of a spray-painted banner reading “Swarthmore Funds Apartheid, Divest Now.”
Matthew Stein, a member of the Swarthmore Students for Israel chapter and Campus Reform correspondent, attended the SGO meeting as a “concerned student” and spoke with the student government before the vote.
Swarthmore student government vice president Kat Capossela reflected on Stein’s assertion that, before the vote, the student government had only spoken about the resolution with SJP.
“I think he was right,” she told Voices. “We didn’t do our due diligence in interviewing other people and speaking with them.”
Capossela said that the resolution was rejected by a 20-7 vote.
Stein later told Campus Reform that the “anti-Israel, often anti-Semitic, environment at Swarthmore already makes it a difficult place to be proudly Jewish.” He also added that he “personally knows several admitted students who declined to attend Swarthmore due to that environment.”
Stein said that even though the resolution was rejected by the student government, he believes that this isn’t the end of the issue being pushed on campus, telling Campus Reform that the student government “will still deliberate on exactly what type of statement they will ultimately release.”
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