UCLA Student Body Votes to Divest From Turkey
LOS ANGELES – Voting unanimously in a 12-0-0 vote on Jan. 20, the undergraduate student government at UCLA voted to pass a resolution calling upon the University of California to divest from investments made in the Republic of Turkey.
According to the Daily Bruin, the University of California’s retirement plan and endowment pool has a base market value of more than $65 million in bonds from Turkey. The proposed resolution by the Armenian Students’ Association aims to end that. This resolution is followed by a similar resolution introduced by the Students for Justice in Palestine which passed two months ago asking for divestment in Israel.
Students emphasized at the Undergraduate Students Association meeting, that they did not want to be a part of a University that invests in the Turkish government; a government which vehemently denies the Armenian Genocide. The majority of council members spoke in support of the resolution and the Armenian students who commented, saying they fully recognize the genocide and think divestment can be a useful tactic. The University of California’s stance has been that divestment from Turkey will only take place when the U.S. government recognizes the Genocide.
“As a UCLA alumnus, I am very proud and deeply moved by the Armenian Students’ Association and the courageous steps they have taken to introduce a resolution which calls on the University of California to cut economic ties in Turkey,” said former UCLA ASA Board Member and current ACA Board Member Krikor Moloyan. “This resolution sends a strong message to Ankara that there are repercussions to their stance on denying the Armenian Genocide and that the Armenian-American community will not be complicit in their active campaign in distorting history with propaganda.”
Student organization co-sponsors of the resolution included Armenian Dance Group, Alpha Epsilon Omega, Alpha Gamma Alpha, Armenians for Health Advancement, Hidden Road Initiative, and Samahang Pilipino. Student organization endorsers included Bengali Students Association, Indus, Jewish Voice for Peace, Native Roots, Samahang Pilipino, Sikh Student Association, and Students for Justice in Palestine.