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Sac State Order: No Investments That Profit From Genocide, Human Rights Abuses
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 2 weeks ago on
May 15, 2024

New investment guidelines aren't "targeted to one nation or people, but to the world," says Sacramento State President Luke Wood. (GV Wire Composite)

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Sacramento State says it is changing the guidelines for its auxiliary support groups such as the university’s foundation to ensure that they “investigate socially responsible investment strategies which include not having direct investments in corporations and funds that profit from genocide, ethnic cleansing, and activities that violate fundamental human rights.”

Changes at Sonoma State, Too

In addition, the Press-Democrat in Santa Rosa reported Wednesday that Sonoma State President Mike Lee said in an email to the campus community that the school will disclose university vendor contracts and seek “divestment strategies.”

Lee also said Sonoma State will not pursue formal collaborations “sponsored by, or represent, the Israeli state academic and research institutions.” Sonoma State, he said, will create a curriculum for Palestinian studies and call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“We want a world that prioritizes life, humanity, and understanding. We want a world that sees all our students, that hears their voices, and is attentive to their concerns.” — Luke Wood, president, Sacramento State

The Power of Pro-Palestinian Protests

The changes at Sacramento State and Sonoma State came after pro-Palestinian protesters set up encampments on university grounds late last month.

“This request mirrors similar policies that many nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, healthcare organizations, and other entities have put in place,” Sacramento State President Luke Wood said in a May 9 statement on the university website. “Our policy states that we will not prioritize investments in companies that profit from death and desolation.”

Wood added that the “policy is not targeted to one nation or people, but to the world. We want a world that prioritizes life, humanity, and understanding. We want a world that sees all our students, that hears their voices, and is attentive to their concerns.

“And I want to be clear about one thing we did not do: We did not sign a treaty or agreement with students to close the encampment. You sign a treaty with your enemies, not with your students. We are proud that our students expressed their concerns peacefully and in accordance with our policies. The encampment didn’t disperse because the protestors saw our policies; they left because they saw our hearts.”

Watch: Sacramento State President Luke Wood

Peaceful Protests at Sac State

While demonstrations at UCLA and CSU Polytechnic Humboldt turned violent and resulted in arrests, those at Sacramento State — which ended on Wednesday, May 8 —were peaceful.

California State University officials said in an April 30 statement that the 23-campus system would not “alter existing investment policies related to Israel or the Israel-Hamas conflict.”

Read Wood’ statement at this link.

 

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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