IRVINE, Calif.—On Tuesday, March 30, the student government at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), Associated Students UC Irvine (ASUCI), unanimously voted to pass “A Resolution Commemorating the Armenian Genocide and Condemning its Denial.”
About fifty students attended the ASUCI Legislative Counsel meeting at the school’s Student Center.
The resolution shed light on the massacres of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and the Ottoman Empire’s attempt to systematically annihilate the Armenian people. Furthermore, it brought awareness to the Republic of Turkey’s continuous genocide denial campaigns and efforts to hide its crimes against humanity.
Three Armenian student at UC Irvine, Carla Kekejian, Kristine Jermakian, and Hasmik Piliposyan spoke about the history of the Armenian Genocide, the cycle of genocide that continues today, and what the passing of this resolution means for genocide education and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on a national level.
“The longer these crimes are denied and unrecognized, the more people stand idly by, because talking about it is difficult or inconvenient, the longer we allow such crimes and the cycle of genocide to continue,” said Carla Kekejian, third-year English and education sciences double major at UC Irvine.
The resolution called on ASUCI to not only commemorate the Armenian Genocide, but also “condemn those attempts made by governments as well as other entities, both public and private, to distort the historical reality and legal relevance of the Armenian Genocide to the descendants of its survivors and humanity as a whole.”
Through this resolution, the students hope to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide and the ongoing denial by the Republic of Turkey and the United States. Moreover, they hope to work with ASUCI to educate students on campus about the cycle of genocide that continues with denial.
“History transcends words written on a page in a book. It echoes through time and space and the ripple effects continue to be felt today. The Genocide is an everyday reality that does not follow a linear progression,” said Kristine Jermakian, third-year pharmaceutical sciences and women’s studies double major at UC Irvine.
Furthermore, through the passing of this resolution, ASUCI “supports the efforts of the Armenian-American community at UC Irvine to establish April 24 as the official Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide.”
“As Armenians, we are born with the Armenian Genocide, it is embedded in our blood. We live and breathe the effects of out people’s demise each and every day,” said Hasmik Piliposyan, third-year political science major at UC Irvine.
California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) passed similar genocide recognition resolutions last month.