Dear Associated Students of the University of Washington, In the spring of 2010, the student body of the Evergreen State

College passed two resolutions, one calling for divestment from companies profiting off of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and the other for the creation of a CAT Free Zone, prohibiting the use of Caterpillar Inc. equipment on campus. The result of the vote, the first student-wide one of its kind, was a resounding victory for both resolutions, passing with 79.5% and 71.8% respectively. The voter turnout set a record at Evergreen, and was more than double the average turnout in student elections nationwide. Following the vote, the Geoduck Student Union unanimously passed resolutions supporting the student vote and directing the Board of Trustees to respond in a timely manner to the request of the student body. The Board of Trustees refused to publicly discuss the resolutions, the reason given being that Evergreen’s endowment holdings are directly tied to the UW Consolidated Endowment Fund. Consequentially, Evergreen’s ability to respect the voice of the student body and divest has been made contingent upon the University of Washington. In 2005, 170 Palestinian civil society groups issued a call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and institutions complicit in and profiting from the occupation of Palestinian land. BDS is a non-violent challenge to a conflict which is militarily one-sided. BDS was instrumental in ending the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and, like with the Palestinian call for action, campuses and students are on the forefront of social justice. Refusing to divest is not a neutral position; refusing to divest puts us on the side of military occupation and makes us complicit in human rights abuses. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands has been found, by the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, to be in violation of International Law. A divestment resolution may be criticized as divisive; however, like in all matters of social justice, there is no position that is not. As well as being one of the defining human rights struggles of our time, the abuses of Israel’s occupation have direct ties to students in the Washington state. In 2003, Evergreen student and lifelong Olympia resident Rachel Corrie was killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer, designed specifically for the Israeli Defence Forces, while defending a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip from illegal demolition. In honoring this legacy, the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society, and Evergreen’s 2010 student body vote to divest from the occupation, we urge the University of Washington to stand on the right side of history and to pass this resolution to divest from companies profiting from violations of international law and human rights. Sincerely, The Evergreen State College’s Students for Justice in Palestine The Native Student Alliance (NSA) at Evergreen Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA) de Evergreen

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