SJP Response to President Kaler’s Statement Regarding Divestment


March 8th, 2016

President Kaler has released a statement regarding the UMN Divest and UMN United Resolutions being voted on today in MSA. You can see his statement here.

In his statement, President Kaler fails to distinguish between the actual goals of our campaign and the false accusations that have been attributed to the larger BDS movement. As University of Minnesota students who stand for divestment, we are NOT calling for an end to the existence of the Israeli state. Rather, we are calling for divestment from companies that our university invests in that are profiting off human rights violations in Palestine.

While we are disappointed by Kaler’s words, we are not surprised by his statement. President Kaler has already taken a position on the BDS movement in the past, despite the nation-wide support this movement has from different academic organizations (ASA, Anthropology). Today, we are looking at a new resolution and we do not appreciate our administration making a statement before we and our fellow students have even had a chance to discuss it on a deeper level.

We brought up this resolution knowing the position of our President regarding this topic. But we brought up this divestment resolution to challenge the status quo. We brought up the resolution to challenge our University to take active steps towards financial neutrality and social responsibility.

But most importantly, we brought up this resolution for the students. This is our voice and MSA is our student government. We presented our resolution to MSA so that the voice of support for divestment can be heard.

We believe in the student voice. We believe in our student government. We believe in the amazing support we have received so far. And we are dedicated to participating in discussion and shaping our own collective opinion among student leaders.

We hope you will join us today at 5pm in MCB room 3-120 to stand in solidarity and support the human rights of those in need.

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change….I am changing the things I cannot accept.”  – Angela Davis


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