(February 24, 2022 / JNS) The student government at Duke University agreed to again recognize Students Supporting Israel (SSI) during their recent meeting, the school’s paper The Chronicle reported.
In November of last year, the Duke Student Government (DSG) approved SSI’s application to be a registered campus club at Duke University. Five days later, on Nov. 17, DSG president and senior Christina Wang vetoed SSI’s recognition, citing an incident in which the pro-Israel group posted on social media a screenshot of a Twitter post by a student who criticized the organization.
The student government’s 50 senators voted at the meeting 37 to 3 to uphold the veto, with 10 senators abstaining. However, SSI was able to reapply through the Student Organization Finance Committee (SOFC), The Chronicle explained.
SSI was presented through SOFC at the student government meeting on Wednesday, but not before junior and president pro tempore Devan Desai insisted that senators consider the application as if it was new.
“Any questions that you have, as with all other groups that we go through with SOFC, just make sure that it’s about the application—the mission value—and not based off the circumstances of last time,” Desai said. Senators then approved SSI’s recognition unanimously, with some abstaining.
SSI said in a statement on Thursday: “While much can be said about the events of the past four months, in this message we want to highlight one of the most important things that this process showed us; the strength of the pro-Israel community when it stands united. Many organizations, community members, reporters, students and faculty stood by our side in the process of seeking to overturn the veto.”
“We are moved and thankful for this amazing support, and deeply humbled to see how many saw the importance and value of our movement’s work on campus,” the group added.
Alyza D. Lewin, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, applauded DSG for “finally correcting the injustice that was done” by reinstating the SSI chapter.
“We are pleased the university finally did the right thing and righted this egregious wrong without our needing to take legal action,” Lewin said in a statement on Thursday. “We were honored to support the Duke SSI students who exhibited remarkable strength and conviction, standing up for themselves and what’s right.”
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