Northeastern student senate rejects divestment resolution

Marcy Oster

BOSTON (JTA) – Student leaders at Northeastern University rejected a resolution that had the Boston school divesting from companies doing business with Israel.

On Monday, the Student Government Association voted down the measure, with 25 senators opposed, nine in favor and 14 abstaining. The vote, which took place just before midnight, followed some two hours of passionate debate, according to Dylan Abraham, a student senator and former president of the school’s Hillel chapter.

The referendum, which was proposed by the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, would have advanced to a vote by the entire student body of approximately 15,000 undergraduates, similar to a divestment referendum that was approved last year by students at DePaul University in Chicago.

“The outcome of the vote is welcome news to our Jewish student leaders, who feel justifiably proud of all the hard work they have put into lobbying, advocacy, educational efforts, strategy sessions, late night communications and social media efforts,” said Arinne Braverman, executive director of Northeastern Hillel, which worked with the New England chapter of the Anti Defamation League, StandWithUs and other Jewish organizations to support students in their effort to defeat the resolution.

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The university provided security outside the meeting in light of contentious incidents that occurred at similar votes at other colleges, Braverman told JTA. She credited Northeastern students with holding a civil debate.

One year ago, the Northeastern chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus after the group distributed so-called mock eviction notices in student residences mimicking those that appear in Israel on illegal Arab construction slated for demolition. The suspension was lifted and the group was fully reinstated this school year.

A campus-wide divestment referendum is scheduled for Ohio State University in a special election on March 30-April 1.