ASOSU Senate vote not to pass divestment bill, propose another

Picture of ASOSU Senate meeting on May 22, 2024
Picture of ASOSU Senate meeting on May 22, 2024
Vincent Ho

After almost seven hours of gallery comments across two sessions, the Associated Students of Oregon State University Senate voted not to pass Senate Resolution-83.09.

Yesterday, May 22, ASOSU held the last senate meeting of the year. This meeting covered many different issues. One such issue was SR-83.09, a resolution calling for OSU to divest from companies that have investments in Israel.

Another bill was also introduced the same day – SR-83.10 – calling for OSU to reevaluate their investment portfolio and contracts to identify companies that don’t align with OSU’s values.

Many attendees painted their hands red to represent the lives that were taken in Palestine during the event, according to Addison Rowe who spoke at the gallery. He also said that more hands would be raised as the event went on to symbolize the deaths taking place during the meeting.

Unlike the last senator meeting, gallery speakers had two minutes to speak as opposed to the 10 minutes granted last meeting.

“I sit here today to plea for companionship with the original resolution, which encourages admin to align its monetary values with that of their students through divest and disclosure.” Jenna White, a speaker from the gallery, said.

Supporters of both Israel and Palestine weighed in for the final time before the senate judgment was made on the resolution, although the galley was comparably smaller to the one at the last senate meeting.

“If Senate Resolution-83.09 has proven anything last week, it is that this resolution has made our campus more hostile and has made the diverse members of our community more divisive,” David Sovolov, a speaker from the gallery, said.

The senate was split on the resolution.

During Senator Noa Stoll’s comments, one member of the gallery was kicked out due to taunting another member in the audience, causing a disruption.

Senator Kaitlyn Kim expressed her disapproval of the divestment, stating that voting would be taking a side.

“We do have a firm commitment to pluralism, tolerance, diversity of opinion, and the issue with 83.09 is that it does take a side,” Kim said. “And that is, I think, why the authors of 83.10 had proposed (the bill) with the intention not to pass both resolutions.”

Senator Sarah Khan stated that she was in support of the resolution since students are being forced to support these companies outside of their will.

“I do think that when we see genocide that it’s our duty to say genocide.” Khan said. “I think that when we see things like apartheid, we need to really listen.”

The senate motioned to change the wording of SR-83.09 to not mention the Palestinian-led movement Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, and cite the original sources where the information came from instead. However, the motion ended in a tie.

The senate eventually voted 6-10 in favor of not passing SR-83.09.

Later in the meeting, SR-83.10 was introduced. However, at that point many people who waited for the decision on SR-83.09 had left.

After deliberation, SR-83.10 passed unanimously.

“I really like the decision on SR 83.10,” said Senator Chandler Donahey. “It did have support from both sides of the gallery so overall I think (it was) a win for everybody, but a tough journey to get there for sure.”

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