UC Riverside student government votes for divestment from Israel
The student government of the University of California – Riverside passed a resolution on Wednesday instructing administrators to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
The non-binding resolution will place pressure on school administrators to consider divestment from companies perceived to profiting from the “Israeli Occupation,” Associated Students of USC Executive Vice President Armando Saldana told Campus Reform in an interview on Thursday.
"Because the resolution was passed, this puts a sense of pressure on the student government's elected officials to push and pressure the institution to divest from any companies that support Israel," he said in the interview.
Companies which have been accused of contributing to and even profiting from Israel's role in the West Bank and Gaza generally include Caterpillar Inc., Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard, Veolia, Northrop Grumman, and Elbit Systems.
The 11-5 vote was in response to a resolution brought forward by UCR's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which demands complete divestment.
"UCR will not make further investments, and will advocate that the UC system not make further investments, in any companies materially supporting or profiting from Israel’s occupation," the resolution reads.
Saldana also told Campus Reform that SJP chapters on all campuses in the UC system have brought or will bring similar resolutions to their campuses.
Saldana did not have any information on exactly which schools have already voted, but the trend is present in the news.
The divestment is part of a trend at California universities. In November of last year, student leaders at University of California - Irvine voted unanimously to urge school officials to divest from companies that support Israel, such as General Electric and Hewlett Packard, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last night, students at University of California - San Diego spent eight hours discussing the issue, before ultimately postponing the vote to next Wednesday, according to the school's newspaper, The Guardian.
The SJP chapter at UC - San Francisco posted on its website that they would be "we will be drafting our petition to the university" within "the next few weeks."
The vote represents more than a two-thirds majority, meaning the resolution cannot be vetoed.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KCTimpf