Letter to the Editors: SUA Decision Regarding Appeal to June 17th, 2014 Chair Investigation

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Submitted by SUA Officers

On Tuesday, November 17th, the Student Union Assembly, the undergraduate student association of the University of California, Santa Cruz, voted to appeal a decision by the 201314 Chair declaring the enactment of “the University Socially Responsible Investment Resolution” a failure.

The resolution was passed on May 28th, 2014 and shortly after put on hold pending review by the Student Union Assembly Chair. On June 17th, 2014, the Chair released a statement with the findings of their investigation and concluded that the resolution had failed due to a technical error in parliamentary procedure.

On November 10th, 2015, an appeal was presented to the Student Union Assembly questioning the validity of the Chair’s decision. The appeal was tabled for a week to give representatives time to speak with their constituencies and communities to obtain feedback about the appeal. The next week, the SUA voted by a majority to grant the appeal to the Chair’s decision that the resolution had failed on the grounds that it was against the Assembly’s procedures and processes.

This appeal focused strictly on the process of the Chair’s investigation and decision that the resolution had failed. The Assembly did not debate the resolution in question, but rather the rules and procedures the Assembly has set forth and whether the Chair’s ruling was fair and democratic. The Assembly concluded that the ruling of the Chair was not democratic, thus an appeal was granted.

Although the Assembly has only debated the parliamentary procedure surrounding “the University Socially Responsible Investment Resolution” this year, we encourage the campus community to continue having respectful conversations about the topic of the resolution that was voted on in May of 2014.

We would also like to clarify confusion about the resolution itself. On November 19th, the Chancellor’s Office released an email that connected the divestment resolution to the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. We would like to clarify that the Assembly did not pass a resolution supporting BDS.

“The University Socially Responsible Investment Resolution” called for divestment on the grounds that investment is not “neutral.” To divest means to withdraw funds from the companies that directly support or profit off the actions of a foreign military. The boycott and sanction aspects of BDS were not part of the resolution that is now in effect.

The final clause of the resolution reads:

“Let it be finally resolved, that we, the students, believe that our University should not have a vested interest in companies that perpetuate systematic oppression and exploitation whether based on national origin, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation.”

We feel this is an important distinction to make and hope the student body takes time to educate themselves on this issue which generates passionate opinions. We are determined to continue working towards improving campus climate in order to make the campus a safe space for all students.

Sincerely,

Julie Rachel Foster

President

Sauli Itzel Colio

President Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

Jabari Brown

Vice President of Internal Affairs

Seamus Howard

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Guillermo E. Rogel Jr

Vice President of External Affairs

Art Motta

Organizing Director