Students for Justice in Palestine calls for increased investment transparency at UGS

Jan. 24, 2024, 3:01 a.m.

The Undergraduate Senate (UGS) heard from student representatives of Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who called for increased transparency on the University’s investment portfolio and its connections to the Israeli government, at its Tuesday meeting.

This campaign comes amid tensions on campus and continued advocacy by the Sit-In to Stop Genocide for the University to endorse calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Katie Eder ’24 and Farah Tantawy ’26 spoke to UGS seeking support for SJP’s initiative, which calls on the University to reconsider its investment in companies and groups that have heavy ties to the Israeli government and military, such as Hewlett Packard (HP). According to Tantawy, HP provides much of the digital infrastructure that enables Israel to implement a historically biased border control system, as well as launch its current attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Students have been campaigning for the University to take a firm stance against Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip since October

However, Eder emphasized that this conflict has been taking place far before then. She noted during the meeting that some Israeli human rights groups, United Nations experts and organizations like Amnesty International have identified Israel as an apartheid state. Eder defined apartheid as a regime under which one racial group systematically oppresses another racial group with the intention of retaining power. 

“It is not only morally reprehensible, but it is illegal under international law,” Eder said. 

Eder said there is precedent for the campaign’s aims. She highlighted the Board of Trustees’ Statement on Investment Responsibility, which states that “rare occasions may arise when companies’ actions or inactions are so abhorrent and ethically unjustifiable as to warrant the University’s dissociation from those investments.” 

The student representatives said apartheid and the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza must be considered “abhorrent and ethically unjustifiable.”

“The student body is very in favor of this transparency and this action,” Tantawy said. “The data and the processes should not be hidden and made inaccessible to the public, much less students like us who pay tuition and attend the university.”

UGS Deputy Chair Joy Molloy ’25 said she acknowledges this is “a really pressing global issue that a lot of senators feel passionate about. The UGS as a collective will definitely review any resolutions you give to us.”

UGS also discussed a resolution Tuesday to increase hours at Green Library. According to a survey sent out by Parliamentarian Ivy Chen ’26 and Treasurer Gordon Allen ’26, many students frequently and consistently use Green Library as a study space. Chen and Allen advocated for their official resolution to support the extension of Green Library’s hours.

Senators also heard from ASSU Executives Sophia Danielpour ’24 and Kyle Haslett ’25 about the ASSU’s plans for Full Moon on the Quad. 

Danielpour emphasized that although the ASSU hopes to continue the tradition of Full Moon on the Quad, which has not been formally held since 2020, there are months of planning involved in successfully putting on the event. 

“While it seems spontaneous on its face, it’s a very involved event to throw, particularly if we want it to be very safe and very inclusive,” Danielpour said. “Ideally, it would be happening this Thursday, but there have been some admin-type roadblocks that would make it very difficult.”

However, Danielpour expressed optimism that the ASSU would still be able to celebrate the tradition this year. 

“We’re planning on hosting a big version of it later this quarter, with partnerships from other groups and admin to make it as strong as possible,” she said.

Senators also unanimously voted to pass a bill removing term limits on the ASSU Financial Manager. The bill, which was previously passed by the Graduate Student Council, will go into effect Feb. 1. After that point, ASSU Financial Managers will be able to serve continuously for more than the previously allowed two years.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly that Sophia Danielpour was a part of the class of 2026. It has been updated to show that she is a part of the class of 2024. The Daily regrets this error.

Ellen Kim is a writer for the News section. Contact them at news 'at'

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