An initiative asking the university to divest from companies doing business with Israel was removed from this year’s Undergraduate Student Government ballot. The signature petitions that could have put the anti-Israel initiative on the ballot were rejected at the 11th hour by the independent Undergraduate Student Government Judicial Panel. The referendum’s removal from the ballot was due to procedural issues associated with the manner of submitting the petition.
According to the Judicial Panel of USG, for a petition to be valid, it has to have the name of the circulator on every page. The petition from OSU Divest failed to have the name on all the pages, the panel said, so the pages without the name were thrown out.
OSU Divest was the organization that collected the signatures to encourage the university to divest. Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) was in touch with campus leaders as the OSU Divest group attempted to bring the issue to the ballot.
Even if the vote for the BDS referendum had occurred and the referendum subsequently passed, divestment would have been an unlikely outcome because such an act would need to be initiated and approved by the University Board of Trustees which has shown no interest in it.