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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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SJP organizers push SA Senate to call for ceasefire in Gaza and UB Foundation transparency

SJP members plan to speak at every Senate meeting until a ceasefire resolution is passed

<p>SJP executive board member Zanaya Hussain told senators that students have a moral duty to take action against injustice.&nbsp;</p>

SJP executive board member Zanaya Hussain told senators that students have a moral duty to take action against injustice. 

Organizers from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) called on the Student Association (SA) Senate to pass resolutions advocating for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and increased financial transparency from the UB Foundation at last week’s SA Senate meeting.

SJP executive board member Zanaya Hussain told senators that students have a moral duty to take action against injustice.

“It’s not enough to just study and critique history, or learn about human rights — which a lot of us do in our classes,” Hussain said. “The fact remains that children are being starved to death, bodies are being brutalized and families are being torn apart, metaphorically and literally.”

She said SJP members will speak at every SA Senate meeting until the body passes a resolution calling for a ceasefire, and that she plans to address the Faculty Senate at its next meeting on April 16.

“[After] every march, rally, protest — it’s up to our representatives to take a stand and take action,” Hussain said. “Are you willing to deflect this growing call from humanity to end the destruction in Gaza?”

After the meeting ended, several senators approached SJP members to express support for potential resolutions. SA President Becky Paul-Odionhin told Hussain she would need more information.

“This is one of the more sensitive issues,” Paul-Odionhin told Hussain. “Our current stance has been to not be involved, mainly because of differing opinions of different people. I’m proposing we take into account that information and hear from all sides before we make any decisions.”

She noted SA’s viewpoint neutrality policy and asked Hussain to share examples of other student governments’ actions. The SA Code of Ethics reads that “decisions with respect to clubs must be made in a manner consistent with principles of viewpoint neutrality.”

Speaking to The Spectrum on Tuesday, Hussain said several SA senators and faculty senators have said they would support resolutions, but that no such resolutions have been written yet. She added that any resolution would need to be reviewed by SA’s legal counsel before appearing on the Senate agenda.

Paul-Odionhin did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. 

Sol Hauser is the senior news editor and can be reached at sol.hauser@ubspectrum.com  

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