Students at Rachel Corrie’s alma mater urge divestment


(JTA) — The student body of Rachel Corrie’s alma mater voted to urge the college to divest from companies that supply equipment to Israel’s military.

The student body at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. passed two resolutions. The first, which passed with nearly 80 percent of the vote, "calls for The Evergreen State College Foundation to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, as part of instituting a socially responsible investment policy." The second resolution, which passed with nearly 72 percent of the vote, "calls on the College to ban the use of Caterpillar, Inc. equipment from campus."

Student divestment bills did not pass in recent months at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Berkeley. At those universities, however, the bills were voted on by the student governments, whereas the Evergreen bill was voted on by the entire student body. In any case, the vote does not carry any actual authority; it merely urges the college do divest.

A Caterpillar bulldozer ran over and killed Corrie in 2003 in Gaza as she blocked a Palestinian house set for demolition with her body. Israeli authorities said the killing was accidental.

"By the beginning of the academic year 2010-2011 we insist on full disclosure of all corporations, including those held through mutual funds, in which The Evergreen State College Foundation and The Evergreen State College are invested," the student resolution says. "Further we insist that the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors make public a plan of action for divestment from companies that profit from the occupation of Palestine."

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