UW Divestment resolution goes to committee this Tuesday

Divest-ASTensions are high for  pro-Israel students at the University of Washington tonight as  resolution R-20-39 makes it’s way to the committee for Academic and Administration Affairs (AAA) tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13th.  The expected procedure at the meeting is that two students from each side (pro and con) will be given three minutes each to present their positions. This will be followed by eight minutes of questions.

We have been told that senate rules only allow for senators to ask and answer questions. This protocol was easily subverted  at last Tuesday’s first reading as senate sponsors re-directed questions to ringers in the audience. 

There are a couple of possible outcomes at tomorrow’s committee meeting.

Should the resolution be approved by committee at tomorrow’s meeting  it will be sent directly to the student senate (ASUW) for a second reading. Normally further discussion and debate of the divestment resolution would be deferred at that point to the next meeting of the ASUW on Tuesday, May 20th. That having been said, the sponsors of the resolution have shown themselves to be knowledgeable of senate rules and more than willing to take whatever steps allowed to expedite their agenda. This is our way of saying, be prepared for anything.

At this Tuesday’s meeting, The AAA committee may decide to defer second reading in order to allow for further discussion during the upcoming week. Should this occur, the resolution will again be reviewed by the AAA next week at their Tuesday, May 20th meeting and then likely be sent directly on to the senate that same evening for the second reading.

Unless the AAA committee takes the unlikely step of  declining to approve the resolution, it will one way or another be headed for a second reading at the Tuesday, May 20th meeting of the ASUW. At the second reading, ASUW will welcome comments and opinions from both students and community members. This is the best opportunity for community members to assure that their perspective is heard by the members of the ASUW before they vote on the resolution.

As at the first reading this past Tuesday evening we expect a large, boisterous crowd of placard waving anti-Israel activists to appear at the Committee and senate meeting this week. The meeting of the AAA committee will commence on Tuesday, May 13th at 5:00 pm at Gowen Hall, Room 301. 

Short version: There will be a nasty meeting about the divestment resolution at the UW tomorrow, May 13th. There will be an even nastier meeting and probably a vote on the resolution on Tuesday, May 20th at the UW.

ASUW Senate Rules at: http://senate.asuw.org/files/2011/05/Senate_Handbook.pdf


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