I am a pro-Israel former Aryeh board member, and I am embarrassed by CCSC’s vote

GIDON HALBFINGER

Columbia Spectator

Mon Mar 11 2019

On Sunday, as the clock inched towards midnight, Columbia College Student Council voted against putting a boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement referendum on the ballot. I believe the decision was the right one. Student council should not be putting initiatives that target and alienate specific identity groups on campus to a student vote. However, as a senior in Columbia College, I am ashamed of how my council failed to represent me that night for one simple reason: The vote on whether to have a referendum was conducted by secret ballot.

When we vote for student council members, we decide who best represents us. That becomes impossible if we don’t know how our representatives are voting. Part of representation is transparency: If your constituents have no idea how you vote on the most divisive, controversial issues, how are they supposed to decide whether you’re properly representing them? Secret ballots on issues such as this one make a mockery of the democratic process and send a “Forget you” message to CC students who care about how their council votes.

If we want CCSC to be chosen based on the candidates’ record of ideas and action, voting must always be public. Otherwise, student council elections become a popularity or name-recognition contest, and everyone in CC is denied the representation we deserve....

I am a pro-Israel former Aryeh board member, and I am embarrassed by CCSC’s vote

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