UCSA Divestment Extends Beyond Israel
By: Mohsin Khan
The University of California Student Association continued to push for divestment from corporations supported by governments that are allegedly violating human rights. The UC-wide student association passed resolution last Sunday to pull support from corporations that work with countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Mexico and even the United States, citing that they are at fault for drone strikes in the Middle east as well as burgeoning prison systems and restrictive immigration laws.
This legislation passed in conjunction with a separate one calling for divestment from companies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
According to UCSA, the UC’s $13.2 billion should undergo more stringent consideration in regards to where its money is invested.
However, UC has been adamant with their stance that they will not pull their support from these countries until the US government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide.
Nonetheless, this has not stopped students from seven UC student governments to pledge their support to the divestment movement. The most recent was UC Davis, which passed their legislation in support of divestment in January.
UC Irvine was the first campus to pass its divestment legislation back in 2012. While many other schools with larger endowments have pushed towards divestment from Israel specifically, none have matched the success and progress of the UC community.
Supporters of divestment have been called anti-Semitic for their continued focus on Israel.
UCSA acknowledged this criticism, casting a wider net of countries it targeted for divestment. The effort is meant to push towards a larger, more global endeavor for the promotion of human rights.
Despite the overwhelming reactions against divestment, both resolutions passed through the student association, marking a political victory for student activists.
The resolution also pushes UC to give students more control and information regarding the university’s investments, especially with the imminent proposals for increased tuition.
Rebecca Ora, the author of the more global resolution and the external vice president of the UC Santa Cruz student association, emphasized that students should have more control over where their money is going.
“If we are the academic customers, then we are entitled to a say,” she said. “The customer is, after all, always right.”
Ora also urged UC students to continue supporting and debating causes that have political impacts.
“Unless we move together, student efforts will not succeed.”