Students at Ohio State University Create a United Front to Vote Down Anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Bill
Columbus, OH. March 24, 2016 –
The student government at Ohio State University (OSU) on Wednesday rejected a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution calling for the university’s divestment from three US companies conducting business in the West Bank.
Student interns from The David Project, an organization working to positively shape campus opinion on Israel through one-on-one relationship building, in partnership with OSU Hillel and Buckeyes for Israel were instrumental in the outcome. Jesse Marquisee, a sophomore at OSU and David Project intern, said: “Reaching out to senators and having one-on-one conversations was very important in stopping the resolution from passing. By reaching out to our senators we were not only able to inform them about the repercussions of the bill, but we were able to make them feel comfortable in representing their constituents who held a different view point.”
In the three days between the return from spring break and the final vote, David Project interns met or spoke with every single senator and member of Undergraduate Student Government (USG), sharing their personal narratives, and encouraged their peers to vote no on the BDS resolution. The resolution was brought to a vote in front of USG where it was defeated with 9 senators voting yes, 21 voting no, and 15 abstaining. “To see The David Project interns employing relational advocacy with such initiative, positivity, and passion is inspiring. We work with them for successes and tangible outcomes like this,” Phillip Brodsky, Executive Director of The David Project remarked.
According to Susannah Sagan, Associate Director of Ohio State University Hillel, “Hundreds of students came to give voice to a desire to come together for peace rather than divide over hate. The moving testimonies plus the eloquent speeches by the Senators shows that democracy is alive and well in Columbus, Ohio.”
On the night of the vote, public comments were heard for over three hours, with several students involved in The David Project and Buckeyes for Israel making statements.