February 2, 2018

On January 24, 2018, Resolution 50-R-27 was presented to the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). The resolution was entitled, “A Resolution to Establish a Committee to Investigate OSU’s Investments in Companies Complicit in Human Rights Violations”. The resolution called for the creation of an ad-hoc committee to further investigate the investments of the Ohio State University.

After a five and a half hour meeting, the vote went to a secret ballot, a practice not normally utilized in this setting. Despite the length of debate, the resolution passed.  

During the meeting, several students addressed the Senate chamber expressing their concerns, either in favor or against the resolution. In total, thirty-eight students spoke against the resolution, while only eight spoke in favor. A petition signed by nearly 800 undergraduate students in opposition to the resolution was also presented to the chamber.  

The initial resolution held many points with direct mention to the Israeli military and Palestinian life. Similarly, the resolution named several companies that have been accused of being complicit human rights violations  (the GEO group, CCA/CoreCivic, HP enterprise). As the Student Union was closing shortly, the meeting became more rushed. During this rushed period, several amendments to the resolution were proposed, discussed, and decided upon. The direct mentions of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and Israel were removed from the final resolution. However, the companies that were initially listed, as well as other campuses from across the country in which similar resolutions were passed (i.e., The University of Michigan, University of California- Davis, and DePaul University) were left in the resolution.

Contributed by Campus Coordinator Alex Rittenberg

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