Last night (10 February), the undergraduate Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Student Senate voted against a motion recommending that the University embrace BDS. The vote was 9 senators for, 5 against, and 1 abstention – one vote short of passing. In a packed room of 200-300 people, students spoke for four hours attempting to persuade the decision. This meeting was one week after the Student Senate struggled to decide on whether to even hold a vote. Two differing groups mobilized to articulate the positions. One is an umbrella groups called Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine (SOOP) advocates the BDS stance. Alternatively, the Coalition for Peace, opposes the BDS motion.

Unlike publically funded state universities like University of California Berkeley or Davis, Stanford is private university, and as such the Board of Trustees makes policy decisions. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Stanford Management Company manages an endowment of nearly $25 Billion, according to its 2014 annual report.

Historically Stanford has a record of applying BDS-like measures – for South Africa, Sudan and coal-processing companies. It’s possible that the BDS vote returns in the future, but it's clear that this has a divisive affect on the campus community


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