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Friday, December 19, 2014

GPSA has no right to dictate foreign policy

Editor,

As a graduate student in the College of Education, I was upset to see that a political resolution was passed at the UNM GPSA Council Meeting on Saturday, April 26. This Boycott, Divest and Sanction resolution has nothing to do with the duties and privileges given to GPSA representatives by students who are forced to support it, and has everything to do with a political movement designed to isolate, delegitimatize and demonize one country: Israel. The resolution comes from student organizations that are financed by countries that are apartheid states. Israel is a representative democracy with representation from all segments of its population, including Arab Christians and Muslims.

The BDS resolution was a stealth action and there was no allowance for public or graduate student comment at the council meeting where it was passed. Where is the representation that we are supposed to be enjoying, and where is freedom of speech and the opportunity for debate and discussion?

I am angry that I am forced to pay fees to an organization that clearly spends its time meddling in foreign policy and playing politics that do not serve graduate students here at UNM. I think it is disgraceful that I am forced to pay taxes and fees toward causes that I disagree with at an educational institution that claims to respect diversity. I am angry that dirty political maneuvering like this wastes my valuable time.

I am paying thousands of dollars a year to complete my education at UNM, and I do not wish to spend my valuable time or money on political causes that isolate students and taxpayers with diverse opinions. I am appalled that at a public university, paid for by New Mexicans from all walks of life, politics is used to marginalize those who do not conform to a single point of view. If GPSA wishes to engage in divisive political causes, it should become a non-governmental student club, one that does not claim to speak in the names of all students, but only those who choose to support it. I am angry at being forced to support an organization that passes resolutions outside its scope of action, and that claims to do so in my name.

I am here to say that this was not done in my name, and that in fact, I had no voice in the matter.

Elisheva H. Levin

UNM graduate student