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Sunday, December 21, 2014

GPSA divestment debate failed to include all opinions

Editor,

The Graduate and Professional Student Association has acted unprofessionally and maliciously, and has sullied the University of New Mexico. Without a published agenda (please see gpsa.unm.edu/news/calendar.html) or email/listserv notification to interested parties, they passed a divestment resolution on Saturday, April 26, targeted at the State of Israel.

Observant Jews could not attend, as the vote was held on Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. I don’t know of even one voice for Israel at this meeting. ASUNM considered a similar resolution Wednesday, April 2. They notified interested parties well in advance, allowed each side 10-3 minute presentations, considered amendments, had a serious debate, and defeated the resolution 12-7. With about 100 participants, it was a model of Town Hall democracy and a credit to ASUNM and the University. Hardly anyone would have known of GPSA’s vote save that it was reported in the Daily Lobo on April 28. On April 29, GPSA and a graduate student wrote indignant letters to the Daily Lobo claiming that the April 28 news article was “biased” “slanted” “unfair” “egregious” and “dedicates an inordinate amount of time and space to (Sarah) Abonyi” (President of Lobos for Israel). I have carefully re-read the news article. I found it factual and even-handed. Yes, Ms. Abonyi got some lines, but so did Elisabeth Perkal and Rachel Levitt, who supported the resolution.

I have been interviewed by the Daily Lobo staff a number of times. I have observed and read their coverage of several charged controversies. I have found them to be objective, detail-minded, and fair. Having surreptitiously done this deed, GPSA now bullies the Daily Lobo staff. Biased, slanted, unfair, and egregious? How well it describes the GPSA leadership!

Donald Gluck
UNM Student