CCSC votes down BDS referendum by secret ballot following 4 hours of tense debate
Following a four-hour meeting that attracted over 150 spectators, saw two student representatives threaten to quit the council, and drew tears from attendees, the Columbia College Student Council shot down a referendum to gauge student support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement via an anonymous vote Sunday night.
CCSC voted overwhelmingly against including a similar referendum on the ballot in 2017, but the debate over BDS has continued to grow on campus. Last spring, the Barnard Student Government Association added a referendum to its ballot asking students whether or not they support Columbia University Apartheid Divest’s campaign to divest from companies that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” aiming to reflect the national BDS movement calling for the end “international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.”
The referendum, which saw the highest voter turnout for any SGA election, passed with a 64.3 percent majority, though Barnard President Sian Beilock announced prior to the election that she would ignore its results....