On March 18th, 2014, the Central Student Government (CSG) of the University of Michigan indefinitely postponed voting on resolution

AR 3-050 put forward by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) and their allies. The resolution, co-signed by 36 student organizations and coalition groups, called for the University to form an investigative committee to evaluate the impact of the University investing in multinational corporations complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, which stands in clear violation of international law and human rights. By voting to table the resolution, the CSG effectively silenced the voices of over 300 students who attended the Tuesday meeting, especially the voices of Palestinian students who were invited to trigger themselves in front of hundreds of people by sharing personal and vulnerable narratives about how this issue directly impacts their lives. The students — many whose voices are marginalized on campus systematically — had no other platform through which they could express their concerns. In spite of the largest attendance at a CSG meeting in recent history and in spite of the testimonies offered by Palestinian students on the importance of divesting University money from corporations that permit violent militarism and human rights violations, the CSG stubbornly defended its decision, maintaining that the resolution was not relevant to student life on campus. This is the first time in recent history that the CSG has indefinitely postponed a resolution indefinitely before discussion had even occurred. As a result, the #UMDivest movement and its allies staged an “indefinite” student sit-in in the CSG chambers, calling on their student government to hold itself accountable for its undemocratic decision to table the resolution indefinitely and by doing so, silencing the voices of its constituency. Contrary to CSG’s affirmation that resolution AR 3-050 was not relevant to University students, many student groups and organizations across campus have expressed concern in regards to the University’s investments in multinational corporations that unethically permit the displacement of and violence against others. The #UMDivest movement has opened up space for these students to participate in integrated, robust conversations that the CSG would not allow. #UMDivest stepped in where the CSG legislature failed. Since the #UMDivest sit-in began last week, the movement has only grown, with increased support from faculty, students and more organizations. As such, the #UMDivest movement insists that the CSG facilitate dialogue and not quell dissent. We request that they do what their job calls on them to do rather than responding with an apathetic, opaque procedural maneuver. We call on the CSG to vote on the resolution we have put forward urging the University to investigate the ethical and moral implications of its investments in corporations that explicitly facilitate the Israeli occupation and siege of Palestinian land in violation of international law and human rights. The #UMDivest movement maintains its right to critically question our University’s

investments and our right to present such concerns to the student government we voted into

power. Indeed, University administration has publicly emphasized students’ collective right to investigate and interrogate University investments and has confirmed that CSG is indeed the appropriate arena to address these concerns, citing the “tangible history” of divestment movements on campus. The students sitting in are committed to having their voices heard. To silence a debate on an issue important to so many students hinders a unique opportunity for education, dialogue and student engagement. We are simply demanding to be heard. The capacity of this movement is the capacity of our hearts. It is huge, vibrant, beating strong and stubborn. It cannot, will not, fail.