Pomona College Student Government Passes Resolution to Defund Clubs Supporting Israel

pro-Palestinian activists
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The student government at Pomona College in Claremont, California, has passed a resolution with the goal of defunding student groups that support Israel.

The resolution, titled, “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine,” states that being “apolitical” in the “face of injustice” is “fundamentally a political statement.”

“To endorse oppression by compliance is an affront to the students of the College already negatively affected by unjust political and economic systems,” the resolution adds.

The resolution goes on to say that the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) will “change its internal spending habits” regarding its investments portfolio, owned business entities, senator budgets, and more, by stopping “categorical spending on items that knowingly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine or contributes to any companies” on the United Nation’s list of businesses linked to Israel.

The ASPC will therefore work with Students for Justice in Palestine “to perform an annual check” on the student government’s businesses “to ensure all goods sold adhere to the guidelines outlined in this resolution.”

The resolution also “calls upon the other Claremont Colleges Student Government Associations to follow suit, with the end goal of an ultimate adoption of a Consortium-wide agreement to ban clubs from using student government allocations to invest in or purchase goods or services from companies that contribute to the settlement and occupation of Palestinian occupied territories by the UN-designated companies or the Israeli state.”

“Clubs that fail to divest and/or refrain from such uses of funding would face the loss of all Claremont Colleges Student Government Association funds,” the resolution adds.

The resolution was authored by Claremont Colleges Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Claremont Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

Administrators at Pomona College issued a “Message of Concern” about the vote, and pointed out it “was held without representation from any student opposition.”

“The independence of student government in passing its resolutions is important, but so is the representation of the student body as a whole and given the lack of debate and the passions this vote may stir, we want to convey our deep concern,” the administrators continued.

“We urge ASPC to discuss this in greater depth, allowing for opposing voices to make their cases, so that our student governance can be inclusive and representative of all members of the community,” the letter added. “We believe this vote works against the dialogue that is critical for constructive engagement of diverse voices on our campus.”

The radical anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine group has chapters at schools across the country, where it wields its agenda.

Last month, Rutgers University apologized for condemning antisemitism, and promised to be “more sensitive and balanced” in the future, after receiving pressure from Students for Justice in Palestine.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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