Minnesota Student Association strikes divestment vote from agenda
The UMN Divest resolution was scheduled to be voted on by the Minnesota Student Association earlier this week, but before the resolution even hit the senate floor, a senator motioned to strike both resolutions from the agenda.
In less than 15 minutes, the motion passed with 34 votes for, 31 against, and 11 abstentions.
UMN Divest expressed its disappointment in a statement.
“Student government exists to be representative of the larger student body. As students at the University of Minnesota, we had every right to bring forth a resolution and discuss it in student government with fellow students. Unfortunately, the student government did not agree. They found a resolution concerning our complicity in human rights violations of people halfway across the world uncomfortable and not worthy of their time. This action was disrespectful to our tradition of student engagement. It silenced marginalized voices,” the statement read.
Over 35 student groups and 500 signatures backed the divestment resolution. Despite the resolution not being voted on, UMN Divest vows that the “conversation will continue as long as human rights violations continue.”
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler released a statementcritiquing both the UMN Divest resolution as well as the counter-resolution presented by Students Supporting Israel (SSI).
The statement came as a result of Kaler being urged by a letter from the Minnesota state legislature to “publicly and resolutely oppose this resolution before this perilous vote is taken.” 81 members of the legislature signed on to the letter.
“Our president of the University, Kaler, put out a statement condemning both resolutions and saying they weren’t meant to be spoken about in forum. Even though forum is the student body and the student voice and he has no say in what we discuss. And he nor any other administrator has ever commented about anything else going on in MSA (Minnesota Student Association), even the sexual assault and mental health campaigns MSA has had previously. This was an abuse of power,” UMN Divest organizer Sara Halimah told Palestine in America.