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DePaul students vote to divest from ‘suffering of Palestinians’

University has no plans to follow referendum

DePaul University students voted in favor of divestment from Israel, though the school has no plans to implement the results.

“DePaul’s student body voted Wednesday night in favor of a referendum urging DePaul to disclose its investment portfolio and ‘divest from companies that directly profit from the suffering of Palestinians,’” The DePaulia reported.

“The referendum received 91% of the votes cast by students who participated in the spring Student Government Association election,” according to the student newspaper. A total of 1785 votes were cast. There are around 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the Chicago Catholic university.

The full proposition stated: “Do you believe that the University should release its investment portfolio for public view and, in affirmation of the University Mission Statement to ‘compassionately [uphold] the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community[,]’ also divest from companies that directly profit from the suffering of Palestinians?”

“We recognize and appreciate the activism of our students, but the university disagrees with their call to divest from Israel,” a spokesman told the student newspaper.

DePaul students also voted in support of divestment 10 years ago, though the administration nixed the request.

The DePaul Divest Coalition celebrated the vote.

“We as the students of one of the largest Catholic universities in the imperial project named the United States call on [DePaul] to do business differently and divest from genocide,” the group wrote on its Instagram.

It wrote further:

This referendum makes support of divestment a binding position of the Student Government Association for the entirety of the upcoming academic year and therefore codifies the legitimacy of our movement into the shared governance of the institution— though of course, much more work is needed to push the Trustees and senior administration into committing to implement this overwhelming call for divestment made by the student body.

Divestment and all of the Coalition’s demands must command the most urgent action by an institution that claims to be rooted in compassion and dignity for the world’s suffering.

“Thank you to all of the students who voted in support of the divestment question and refused to legitimize President Manuel’s rhetoric framing Palestine-related dissent at DePaul as unsafe, unworthy, and unacceptable,” the group wrote. “We will not stop until liberation.”

The coalition and the Student Government Association are currently under investigation by the university for their role in an encampment on campus, according to what appears to be a news release posted on The Crusader.

The university cleared the encampment several weeks ago after receiving more than 1,000 complaints. The university estimated the damages to be at least $180,000, including from broken windows and graffiti.

DePaul officials also received reports of harassment, battery, “academic disruptions,” and intimidation.

MORE: Institutional neutrality will probably fail at Harvard

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.