On Sunday, April 27, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) postponed its vote on a resolution titled “Wesleyan Divestment from Companies Profiting from or Contributing to Illegal Occupation of Palestine.” This decision brought about upset from some students and relief from others.
Students received three emails from the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) between Saturday and Sunday. The first email, sent on April 26, informed students that the WSA would be discussing and voting on a number of resolutions, including the one calling for divestment for Palestine; the second email, sent at 6:16 p.m. on April 27, rescheduled the vote until the following Sunday; the third, sent at 8:01 p.m. on April 27, announced that the vote would be occurring that evening at 8:30 p.m. Ultimately, however, the vote was postponed to next week’s meeting.
The WSA tabled the vote due to a coincidence with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day): a number of students who would have wished to speak at the meeting were observing and could not attend. J Street U member Emma Golub ’16 expressed gratitude for the rescheduling of the vote.
“I think that although this resolution is extremely important to vote on as soon as possible, it’s also important for the WSA to respect students who were upset by the coincidence of this controversial issue being debated on Holocaust Remembrance Day,” Golub wrote in an email to The Argus.
Other students, however, were disappointed by the postponement of the vote.
“I was upset that they decided to cancel the talk so last-minute,” Harry Russell ’17 wrote in an email to The Argus. “[…]As a Jew (and there were other Jewish students who expressed similar sentiments), I felt that Yom HaShoah was a very appropriate day to pass this resolution. What better way to remember the [H]olocaust and ensure it never happens again [than] by passing a motion in favor of human rights and freedom for a group of people fighting for their very existence and self-determination?”
President of the WSA Nicole Updegrove ’14 apologized for the confusion.
“We are so sorry that this unacceptable chaos occurred,” Updegrove wrote in an email to The Argus. “We know that many students cancelled other plans in order to attend, and that many students were not able to attend. When the group votes to override a scheduling decision, it is impossible to ensure consistency of messaging. We will definitively be discussing and voting on this issue at our final meeting on May  at 7 [p.m.], and all community members are welcome to attend. Anyone who cannot attend is encouraged to email statements to firstname.lastname@example.org to have [hir] statements forwarded to the WSA. You can also give your statement to someone who will be able to attend so they can read it for you at the meeting.”