MSA submits boycott call to ASI

Randi Johns

Published: Thursday, March 19, 2009

Updated: Friday, March 20, 2009

Associated Students Inc. listened to the first reading, as well as passionate public comments, of a new resolution regarding the Gaza Strip at Wednesday”s ASI Senate meeting.

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) brought to the senate a resolution calling for an end to the Israeli/Palestinian situation in Gaza. It asks for ASI to boycott goods and services that maintain business with Israel.

Sen. Avis Atkins gave notice to the rest of the senate that the resolution is from a humanitarian point of view, not a political one.

A few senators and members of the MSA proposed voting on a second reading, as well as the first. The senate voted down the proposal and continued with only the first reading of the resolution. Most senators wanted time to acquire more information about what the passing of the resolution will affect before the next reading.

MSA members expressed enthusiasm about the resolution they have been working on for so long.

Members of MSA explained the resolution”s request for a boycott was to get something tangible out of condemning violent acts of aggression against a defenseless population. They have collected more than 300 student signatures and ID numbers in support of their proposal.

“We”re not asking you to decide with a nation versus another nation. We”re asking you to decide with humanity,” said Maral Sabebjame, on behalf of MSA.

The resolution addresses the ties ASI may or may not have with the state of Israel.

“How will a boycott benefit students at Cal State Long beach?” asked Sen. Everett Bryant of the College of Engineering.

Sabebjame informed the senate about a list MSA compiled of six companies that they say have ties with the state of Israel, including Caterpillar, Motorola and General Electric. Caterpillar, for example, supplies Israel with bulldozers that demolish homes of civilians in the West Bank, Sabebjame said.

MSA is continuing research of business done by ASI or CSULB with companies that support Israel.

A resolution in support of a central location for the academic advising for the College of Liberal Arts was brought to the floor for a second reading.
Sen. Amanda Thyden introduced a College of Liberal Arts student to the floor to speak about his experience with academic advising in COLA.

James Suazo, a freshman English education major, said he has had a horrible time with academic advising, given that he is working on minors in history, comparative world literature and American Indian studies.

Suazo said, “Going to five places just so I can get answers to simple questions doesn”t seem like ideal to me.”

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