• SG votes against divestment resolution AR-3

    After weeks of debate, the Student Government Assembly voted against a divestment resolution, which would have asked the UT System Investment Management Company to pull investments from five corporations that the resolution claimed “facilitate in the oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.”  The Assembly voted against the resolution by a 11-23-1 vote Tuesday night. 

    The resolution asked UTIMCO to divest specifically from Alstom, Cemex, Hewlett-Packard, Procter and Gamble and United Technologies because of “human rights violations,” according to the resolution.   

    Katie Jensen, a graduate student representative, said the campaign to pass the resolution led to important dialogue, even though it did not ultimately pass.

    “[Regardless] of the vote, it is a victory,” Jensen said.

    Ethan Black, a Plan II sophomore who testified at Tuesday's meeting, said the resolution singled out Israelis.

    “I truly want an end to settlement expansion as the authors of this resolution do, but divestment is not the way,” Black said.

    UTIMCO CEO Bruce Zimmerman said UTIMCO makes investment decisions solely based on the financial interests of the University, and so would not have taken the resolution into consideration even if had passed.

  • Former SG leaders sign open letter in opposition to BDS resolution

    Seventeen former Student Government leaders signed a letter addressed to the current SG executive board and Assembly, urging them to oppose a divestment resolution set to be voted on Tuesday night.

    The resolution calls for the University of Texas Investment Management Company to divest from corporations that authors said “facilitate the oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.”

    The former leaders, who served SG terms ranging as far back as 1983, said SG should not associate with the boycott-divestment-sanctioning – known as BDS – movement upon which the resolution is based.  

    "The BDS movement is rooted in a philosophy that rejects Israel’s very existence," the letter read. "While reasonable people can debate the merits and faults of Israel's specific policies, supporting BDS necessarily means supporting a philosophy that advocates the destruction of Israel and its inhabitants. We do not think the Student Government Assembly should align itself with such a philosophy."

    Seven of the eight most recent SG presidents and vice presidents signed the letter, including last term's president and vice president, Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland.

    The leaders also said Texas has kept close ties with Israel, regarding similarities in agricultural and policing policies.

    "There is much that the state of Texas and Israel share, and the BDS movement attempts to undermine that relationship," the letter read.

    The Assembly will vote on the resolution Tuesday night.

    To read more about the debate surrounding the resolution, click here. 

    To read about the resolution as it stands, before it heads to the Assembly for a vote tonight, click here. 

    Read the letter here:

    Former SG Leaders in Opposition to BDS and AR-3