As the clock tower bells chimed over a sunny Arts Quad, Student Assembly president-elect Joe Anderson ’20 sat down with The Sun to talk about presidential victory, funding reform, administration on campus, and his vision for the Assembly’s role in it all.
S.A. members deliberated the last resolutions of the year, including resolutions to denounce white supremacist imagery at county fairs, to establish formal relationships between committees and administrators, to create an ad-hoc committee to investigate student absence policy reform and to restructure how executive offices recruit staff.
Student Assembly members voted Thursday to reject Resolution 36, which would “urge” Cornell to divest from companies “profiting from the occupation of Palestine and human rights violations.” The vote included 13 no, 14 yes and one abstention from S.A. members, as well as two votes by the community members that were against the resolution.
The Student Assembly convened Thursday for a public forum on a resolution for the boycott, divest and sanction movement on campus. Community members voiced often emotional opinions on the pro-divestment Resolution 36 and delivered pointed appeals toward S.A. members in a packed room. Several supporters of the resolution wielded large signs with slogans such as “Cornell has blood on its hands” and “Our tuition is funding oppression.”
The resolution, which calls upon Cornell to “divest from companies participating in the human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” was introduced by co-sponsors Max Greenberg ’22 and Mahfuza Shovik ’19 — S.A. representative for the College of Engineering — as well as leaders from Students for Justice in Palestine Adam Khatib ’20 and Omar Din ’19, who is also S.A. representative for the College of Human Ecology. BDS has commanded the spotlight in the Student Assembly this semester, emerging as a major focus of S.A. presidential debates and assembly meetings, The Sun previously reported. At last week’s S.A. meeting, controversy erupted over allegations that supporters of the resolution had tried to force an early private vote, culminating in what observers called “Islamaphobic” comments.
Trevor Davis ’21, who was elected one of two undesignated S.A. representatives after an unsuccessful bid for the S.A. presidency, resigned from his new position Thursday morning. His replacement by succession, John Dominguez ’20, shared his own plans to resign with S.A. members less than six hours later.
After three days of voting, Cornell’s undergraduates elected Joe Anderson ’20 as the next Student Assembly president. Voters also elected Cat Huang ’21, current S.A. transfer representative, as Executive Vice President, the position currently held by Anderson.