Skip to content

RUSA votes to add divestment referendums to Spring 2024 election ballots

The Rutgers University Student Assembly recently voted to open a referendum to allow students to vote on potential divestment from companies meeting certain qualifications for activity related to the Israel-Hamas War. – Photo by Matan Dubnikov

Earlier this month, the Rutgers University Student Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to add two referendums related to economic divestment to ballots for the Spring 2024 Assembly elections.

According to the Assembly's constitution, referendums are the preeminent tool by which the student body can influence University happenings. Referendum questions must be concise and are finalized by the Assembly's vote, according to the constitution.

The first of the two Spring 2024 referendums asks voters whether they believe the University should terminate any of its investments in firms that have a connection to Israel's actions in the Israel-Hamas War. The Assembly further specifies the types of organizations to which divestment would apply to.

"Divestment from any firm or corporation materially participating in, benefitting from or otherwise supporting the government of Israel’s settler colonialism, apartheid and genocide of Palestine and the Palestinian people, in accordance with the principles for divestment listed in university policy 40.2.14," the Assembly's resolution read. 

The second referendum asks voters whether the University should sever ties with Tel Aviv University, which would impact initiatives such as the New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub.

For both questions, voters can vote "yes" or "no" as well as opt not to respond. The outcome of the vote is contingent on two factors: if any response receives a majority vote, and if at least 10 percent of the University's undergraduate population casts their ballots for each option.

The Assembly will advocate for any response that meets these qualifications and receives an affirmative majority.

In their resolution, the Assembly referenced the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement and named Lockheed Martin, Motorola Solutions, Boeing and General Electric as specific companies linked to violence committed against the Palestinian people.

"The imperative for justice necessitates a strategic course of action, specifically divestment from these harmful corporations to rectify the ethical dilemmas inherent in Rutgers' endowment practices and to advocate for the rights of oppressed communities globally," the resolution read.

Related Articles

Join our newsletterSubscribe