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Statement in response to ASM action on divestment

April 26, 2017

The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Council is independent of the university administration. It does not control UW–Madison policies or practices and its actions tonight will not result in a change in our approach, or that of the WFAA, which is driven by its obligation to maximize the impact of a donor’s gift on the intended program in the university.

We are concerned that the actions taken tonight appear to violate a ruling of the Student Judiciary; Jewish members of student government, who raised this issue with the Student Judiciary, walked out of the meeting after expressing concerns that the process was undemocratic and not transparent.

UW-Madison values and welcomes members of all faiths and identities. We have heard clearly from the Jewish community how targeted they feel by the actions of the last month. Chancellor Blank has made clear her opposition to the concept of BDS and academic boycotts.

Like any elected representatives, the students who serve in student government have an obligation to follow the bylaws of their organization to ensure its integrity and to uphold the trust placed in them by those who elected them. Chancellor Blank plans to meet with the incoming ASM leadership for the next academic year and will emphasize the need to act with integrity and in ways that promote involvement by all students.

Editor’s Note, May 22, 2017: The ASM Student Council resolution does not reference academic boycotts. Chancellor Blank has addressed the concept of academic boycotts in a past statement.