Northeastern SGA blocks divestment vote, again
For the second year in a row, Students for Justice (SJP) at Northeastern University in Boston has been blocked by the Student Government Association from placing its divestment referendum on the ballot for a vote.
“In our opinion, the referendum met every requirement, and our opening statements spelled out why; in the past, Northeastern has cut ties with companies it had close relationships with, such as Adidas, due to student pressure and human rights violations. There is no reason that the same precedent cannot be applied again,” the President of Northeastern SJP wrote in a statement.
Last year, when the divestment referendum was first blocked from being voted on by the student body, Palestine Legal, along with the ACLU of Massachusetts, The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of Massachusetts sent a letter to Student Government.
“Allegations that expression criticizing the state of Israel, standing alone, is harassment or intimidation that targets and creates a hostile educational environment for Jewish students on campus on the basis of race or national origin have been soundly rejected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR),” The letter states.
“Debate, disagreement, and free expression—including divestment referendums such as the one submitted by SJP—embody the highest values of a free university. As a representatives elected to ‘serve as the voice of the undergraduate student body’ Northeastern’s Student Government should live up to the highest ideals of free speech and student governance. We urge you to stand firmly in support of student democracy, and to refuse to accede to demands to prevent students from voicing their opinion on this critical issue.”
Both SJP Northeastern and the Northeastern SGA have not responded to Palestine in America’s request for comment.