Ming DeMers/Sun Senior Photographer

Student Assembly President Patrick Kuehl '24

April 22, 2024

KUEHL | Student Assembly Referendum Passes

Print More

Today, the Cornell Undergraduate Student Body voted by a ratio of 2:1, with 46.77%
participation, to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and to divest from the following weapons
manufacturers: BAE Systems, Boeing, Elbit Systems, General Dynamics, L3Harris
Technologies, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, RTX and ThyssenKrupp.

In this time of conflict, the students of Cornell University have raised their voices together, and
spoken out definitively against the violence perpetrated in the Middle East. I speak from my
experience in the back of an ambulance and in refugee communities when I say that any loss of
life is too much and any distance that a family is displaced is too far.

The results of this referendum are a statement against the killing of civilians; against the
structural situation that creates cyclical violence; and against the actions of the Israeli
Government — not the people of Israel or the Jewish people. We stand by the humanity and the
right to exist of the Jewish and Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian people, and acknowledge that a
structure of freedom, equality, and peace based in justice are ultimately to the benefit of all. It is
essential, in the spirit of democracy, that we be able to criticize the actions of an institution
without condemning the people it claims to represent, just as we must continue to be critical of
the actions of our own governments and institutions, even as they claim to represent us.

It is important to remember that while actions abroad can seem so far away, we are no more than
six connections away, and often fewer, from every other person in this world. We as a society in
these times need to recognize the humanity of our peers and to have empathy for the challenges
they face that are not immediately clear.

Everyone deserves the right to peace, security and freedom. While ambitious, it is certainly an
impossible dream while oppression, violence, and inequality remain unchallenged. This
statement by the Cornell Community is an affirmation of life, and a cry for peace in a grieving
Let us embrace it with courage.


Patrick Kuehl ‘24

Student Assembly President

Editors Note: An abridged version of this statement was sent as an email to the Cornell student body.

The Cornell Daily Sun is interested in publishing a broad and diverse set of content from the Cornell and greater Ithaca community. We want to hear what you have to say about this topic or any of our pieces. Here are some guidelines on how to submit. And here’s our email: [email protected].