Let Students Vote on Divestment!
Following Sunday's disgraceful hearing, the Undergraduate Student Government Judicial Panel has invalidated OSUDivest's petitions for inclusion on the ballot through a technicality that has been unevenly applied to others on the ballot and has no bearing on the integrity of the signatures we collected or the integrity of the upcoming USG election.
The disqualification of our initiative from tomorrow's ballot is an attack on the more than 3,000 student voices that asked for this initiative to receive a fair hearing from our student body. That the Judicial Panel of USG delayed until the absolute, last possible moment to tell us about a perceived irregularity in our petitions, so that we had no time at all to defend ourselves or appeal the decision suggests this is not about technical violations of USG bylaws, but instead about a concerted effort to stop OSU students from voting on divestment. An alleged failure to include the name of a petition circulator on each page of 3,000 signatures is not a threat to student democracy, but the cynical manipulation and application of rules to stop our student body from deliberating over an issue of such importance truly is.
Our campaign refuses to let this decision be the final word on our initiative. The campaign to divest our endowment from companies that cause such immense harm to human life is too serious and too urgent to be dropped, simply because of one bad ruling. Students deserve the opportunity to make their voices heard. We appeal this ruling and demand a fair, open, and democratic vote on divestment. If this is not possible within the current USG election process, due to the harmful effects of the ruling, we will call on the USG to host a special election.
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