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OSU Student Government Divestment Proposal KO’d

The Foundation Board heard on last Wednesday from OSU student leaders Chad Chessin and Matt Frankel about their efforts to overturn a divestment resolution promoted by a group called OSU Divest.  The resolution called on the University to cut its financial ties with Boeing, Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, GE, General Dynamics, and United Technologies because of their business relations with Israel, alleged Israeli human rights violations, and “occupation of Palestinian territories.”

Chessin and Frankel played lead roles in a counter campaign focusing on how the divestment resolution would adversely impact OSU. Working closely with OSU Hillel, their advocacy and mobilization tools included word of mouth, fliers, Facebook, a dedicated website, the Greek system, interfaith campus groups, and lots of sweat equity.  Ultimately, the resolution was removed from the Undergraduate Student Goverment (USG) ballot. It was found to be in violation of the USG constitution and election bylaws.

Commenting afterwards on the drama, OSU Hillel Director Joseph Kohane said:  ”Major kudos, first and foremost, to our amazingly committed, savvy, plugged-in, hard-working students!  No matter the hour of the day, they did not let up and got stronger as the demands upon them intensified. The Jewish community should take great heart and pride in the next generation which it nurtures and supports. This was just the most recent effort to delegitimize Israel. We expect more of the same in one form or another soon again. We hope to encounter any future challenge with the same readiness and devotion and, with the help of our friends, we know we’re not alone.”

We will maintain open lines of communication with Hillel and its student leaders, who can count on the Foundation’s continued moral and financial support.

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