Students voice concern about conflict in Palestine

Students from Hillel, Vermont Students for Israel (VSI) and Students for Justice in Palestine debated about the proposal that the University divest from companies profiting from Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, at last weeks SGA meeting. “The proposal for divestment was made at more than a dozen other universities and all have failed,” VSI President Haley Stern said. If the decision was made to dissociate from various companies like Lockheed Martin, it would not lead to positive results for the University, she said. Students for Justice in Palestine said that the University should divest from these companies because Israel is benefiting from an illegal occupation and that goes against many of the values and standards that UVM holds. The occupation, violates Palestinians basic human rights, Nolan Rampy of Students for Justice in Palestine said. While many students said they agreed that the occupation was a violation of human rights, they also said they were concerned about how this divestment from major companies that finance the University would affect the increasing budget gap. Rampy responded that there could be potential financial losses, but there are other outlets and the minor financial consequences are worth providing an individual with the rights that they deserve.