(JTA) — The president of the student government at Chicago’s Loyola University vetoed an Israel divestment resolution that was passed twice.
Pedro Guerrero, president of the Loyola United Student Government Association, on Tuesday rejected the measure that calls on the university to remove its holdings from eight companies that provide equipment or services to Israel for use in the West Bank.
“No matter what viewpoint you hold on the larger issue, this resolution caused harm among the student community,” Guerrero said in a statement to the student senate and the Loyola University Chicago community, the JUF News reported late Tuesday.
The veto came a day after the student government had passed the resolution, for a second time, by a vote of 12-10 with nine abstentions. On March 19, the vote was 26-0 with two abstentions.
The student senate can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote. If the approval remains in place, the resolution becomes the official position of the student body and is presented to the administration.
Guerrero said he made the decision because the “diversity of thought on campus was not taken into consideration.”
Pro-Israel students were assisted in their efforts to overturn the measure by the Metro Chicago Hillel and the Jewish United Fund’s Israel Education Center.
The two organizations issued a statement Tuesday praising Guerrero’s “courageous and considered decision” to veto the resolution, which was proposed by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
“By affirming the need for USGA to give due consideration to ‘diversity of thought on campus,’ President Guerrero and other USGA Senators, as well as the administration of Loyola University Chicago, have reaffirmed the values-based and inclusive culture that have always made this Jesuit university a welcoming home for Jews and other minority students,” said the statement, which was signed by Emily Briskman, the director of JUF’s Israel Education Center, and Talia Sobol, an intern at the Loyola Metro Chicago Hillel/JUF Israel.
“Students of good faith and goodwill must address the difficult and complex issues of our times in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, rather than demonization and delegitimization,” it concluded.
The university in a statement issued last week said the resolution does not reflect its views.
Nine of the student senators who voted for the resolution are members of Students for Justice in Palestine.
Elections for new student government president, vice president and 28 senator positions were being held Tuesday and Wednesday at Loyola.