Cowardice: Crushing a human rights movement in Times New Roman font

Despite passing the same divestment resolution on two separate occasions this month, Loyola University Chicago’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA) has vetoed the bill.

USGA President Pedro Guerrero elected to veto the measure the day after the revote on the basis that “diversity of thought on campus was not taken into consideration.” His statement comes after two separate hearings consisting of many hours of discussion and debate between supporters and opponents of the resolution, as well as the presentation of a petition signed by well over 1,000 undergraduate students.

In his statement, Guerrero outlines three reasons that led him to veto the divestment bill, formally introduced by campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) on Mar. 18.

But his reasoning — that the concern of over 1,000 students is an “isolated” one, that the resolution was essentially based on the emotional appeals of a select few, and that social responsibility should not include organizing for human rights in Palestine — is beyond being outwardly condescending, dismissive, and wildly misinformed. It’s cowardly.

This is how movements are made. Guerroro’s decision is, regrettably, a very obvious step in the wrong direction. But little does he know that his attempt to stymie a global call for human rights and accountability in 12-point Times New Roman font is only going to encourage others to challenge institutionalized abuse of power, be it in Israeli settlements or in the USGA’s private chambers.

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