SGA Issues A Position on SJP/Barnard Debacle

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This morning, SGA released a position on last month’s drama involving SJP and the Barnard administration. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the long and short of it is that SJP asked permission for and hung a banner promoting End Israeli Apartheid Week, which the administration then promptly removed. The administration said that in light of the issue, they would discuss whether banners would be allowed in future. SGA sent out a survey to the student body about general opinion on the situation, and the resulting statement supports not only rehanging the banner, but allowing banners of all sorts and perspectives.

Dear Student Body and Administrators,

On Monday March 24th, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine came to speak at SGA Rep Council and asked SGA for support regarding a few specific initiatives. Last week, we distributed a Google Form to the student body that reformulated C-SJP requests into a set of questions that are useful for the scope of responsible and appropriate SGA action. As of today, this form has received over 180 responses from the Barnard student body. We thank the student body for sharing their voices and opinions with us and this information has been essential in informing our plan of action. Using these responses, SGA Rep Council discussed, drafted, and voted on an action plan, arriving by majority vote at the following conclusions.

We, the Student Government association of Barnard College, urge the administration of Barnard College to do the following:

1. Rehang C-SJP’s banner in an equally prominent and visible space on campus.

2. Allow student banners to hang on Barnard Hall. Bannering on Barnard Hall is an important communications outlet for the student body and a valued tradition that should be allowed to continue.

3. Additionally, for as long as Barnard Hall is not a space for student event advertisement, we strongly support the creation of alternative prominent spaces for student group event advertising on campus.

4. SGA would like to work with the college administration on the creation of a set of community bannering and posting guidelines that will delineate an honor code for student group advertisement on campus.

We will continue to work towards making these pressing requests a reality.



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  1. Anonymous

    hmm, here we go again...

    (esp if the banner gets rehung)

  2. job (pretty) well done  

    interesting that they don’t mention that 76% of students voted NOT to rehang the banner on Barnard Hall.

    still, this is a very good statement from SGA – there’s no spurious condemnation of the Barnard administration for standing up for their students. would have loved to see SGA stand up for the Jewish students who were attacked by the banner, but i get that they wanted to appear balanced.

    i suppose banners are complicated, right SGA?

    • beyonce pad thai

      were they "attacked by the banner"


      • Jewish student  

        Tired of being lumped together with these over-sensitive people equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. Not all Jewish students felt "attacked" by this banner, so don't speak for all of us.

        Opinions against Israel exist. Trying to silence such voices by directing a misguided effort toward taking down a banner is naive in it's implicit belief that silencing an opinion is a real way to engage with it. Odds are you'll hear more anti-Israel beliefs sometime in the future and you can't always go crying to Facebook and expect to be pandered to. Plus, as Jews I'd hope we'd have thicker skin about hearing opinions contrary to ours (again not saying that Judaism = Zionism).

  3. I don't understand

    So first sga is just basing their opinion on a survey filled out by 180 students? You couldn't make a decision yourselves? Also what about the other couple thousand students at Barnard and Columbia? You gave no reason to how you made your decision. By the way sga I could easily find 180 students who felt differently. Also don't talk about this as if it's one of the most valued traditions at this school, if the decision to change the process of hanging banners happened without sjp or something similar you wouldn't have made a sound. Maybe you should work on something that actually improves student lives instead of just trying to get your name out there on an issue that's two weeks past.

  4. Not defending SGA's decision

    But more people could have taken the survey (though from a comment mentioned above, it doesn't appear that SGA put too much weight on the survey opinions anyway)

  5. Anonymous  

    i don't think SGA gets what an honor policy is lol

  6. 76% voted not to rehang the banner?

    wait, what? dyou have a source for that number? that's disappointing.

    SGA fails as a representative gov't fails if they are claiming to follow the results of a crowd-sourced survey, but ignore the overwhelming majority of students.

  7. Heisenberg

    1 Yes
    2 No
    3 Yes
    4 We need a honour code to hang up a banner, da fuq

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