ASUC approves SR 19 bill in support of Palestinian students

photo of the ASUC seal
Gisselle Reyes/Staff
The ASUC Senate passed SR 21/22-019 by unanimous consent. The bill stands in support of U.S. House Resolution 2590 and aims to support UC Berkeley's Palestinian students.

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The ASUC Senate passed SR 21/22-019, a resolution in support of U.S. House Resolution 2590, “Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” and delivered committee and office updates Wednesday.

With the passing of SR 21/22-019, the ASUC will call upon the Berkeley community to lobby congresspeople in support of HR 2590, host “civic engagement events” including social media campaigns and phone banking on campus, provide resources for Palestinian students and correct misinformation.

After the meeting was called to order, Senator Muz Ahmad motioned to send SR 21/22-019 to immediate consideration, which was approved by unanimous consent.

A vote to waive the public notice requirement for the bill was then proposed and passed and Kaitlyn Tran was appointed to the Judicial Council by unanimous consent.

Statements made during the public comment period both expressed opposition and support for SR 21/22-019. There were also statements of solidarity with Palestinian students and their families from Berkeley Student Cooperative, or BSC, and Black Student Union representatives.

External Affairs Vice President Riya Master primarily sponsored the bill and spoke in support of addressing it as soon as possible.

“Waiting a week might not seem like a long time right now, but it’s a week taken away from people whose actual lives are at stake here,” Master said during the meeting. “It is an emotional matter and that’s why we’re hoping to get it passed as soon as possible. We’ve put a lot of time into it as an office and we’re really hoping to see it go through.”

ASUC Senators Gabbi Sharp, Osirus Polachart, Amanda Hill, Varsha Madapoosi, Ashley Rehal, Stephanie Wong, Sammy Raucher, Sam Coffey, Adrianna Ngo, Griselda Vega Martinez, Mehnaz Grewal and Kalli Zervas are among the many campus leaders and community members cosponsoring the bill.

“This bill is pretty mild,” BSC Vice President of Experience and Training Zoe Hayes said during the final public comment period. “It doesn’t say that Israel doesn’t deserve to exist. It does say Palestinian students have the right to stay safe on campus.”

The bill was then passed by unanimous consent.

ASUC officials and Executive Vice President Giancarlo Fernandez then delivered updates on their offices and committees, which included a successful recruitment cycle for Fernandez’s office, a reminder that the next Senate meeting will be hybrid and that  Senate meetings will potentially be moved to 8 p.m.

Contact Anishi Patel at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @anishipatel.