Student Body President vetoes divestment resolution

On January 27, 2016

A Student Government (SG) resolution to make USF divest in companies purported to have questionable human rights records was vetoed by the student body president.

At Tuesday’s senate meeting, Student Body President Andy Rodriguez and Student Body Vice President Michael Malanga vetoed the resolution in a memo.

According to the memo, Rodriguez and Malanga “believe the message being sent does not reflect an aggregate student voice.”

Moreover, they said they believe bringing such a “polarized and politically driven” topic into SG “serves only to divide the Student Body and to disparage students with opposing viewpoints,” rather than uniting them.

The resolution came before the SG Senate on Jan. 19 and was approved with a vote of 32-12 and four abstentions. However, the university said in a statement that the USF Foundation board would not be considering the request again.

A nearly verbatim resolution came before the Foundation two years ago, and the university did not decide to divest at that time, either. Then, the resolution was presented by members of the university’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine in the form of a presentation of a petition with over 10,000.

The resolution also garnered attention on Facebook with dozens of students posting videos with the hashtag #DearAndy. In these videos, supportive senators and others would explain why they believe the resolution is important.

According to Rodriguez and Malanga’s memo, “it is not the role of Student Government to interject into international politics nor investment policies.”

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