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Barnard Students Angry At Administration’s Rejection Of Pro-BDS Landslide Vote

Barnard’s Student Government Association denounced an email from their president during their Monday night meeting. Sian Beilock’s letter, which was e-mailed to the entire school community and posted on Barnard’s website earlier in the day, addressed a referendum regarding whether SGA should advocate for the college to divest its ties to eight companies that do business in Israel.

Beilock announced in the e-mail that Barnard will not take action to divest from the companies, and that doing so would “risk chilling campus discourse on a set of issues that members of our community should be able to discuss and debate freely.”

SGA representatives criticized Beilock for downplaying the results of the vote, in which 30% of the student body voted in favor of divestment.

“As SGA was and is in the process of deciding how to and whether to bring the issue to the administration, the president and the board of trustees have had their own dialogue and have chosen to dismiss the possibility of moving forward,” Vice President for Communications Rhea Nagpal told the Columbia Spectator.

The SGA Representative Council reportedly met with Beilock on Monday to express their concerns about the e-mail. Members of SGA were angered over how quickly Beilock dismissed their work.

“Regardless on where one stands on the issue at the heart of the referendum we feel strongly that we all should be disturbed by the fact that the president knowingly undermined student voices and SGA’s process,” Vice President for Policy Alicia Simba told the Columbia Spectator.

Contact Haley Cohen at hcohen@forward.com

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