BERKELEY, Calif.— The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) undergraduate student body Senate unanimously voted on Wednesday night to divest $72.6 million dollars worth of University of California bonds and investments in the Republic of Turkey for their crimes in and the continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.
The resolution titled “A Bill in Support of Divestment from the Republic of Turkey” passed at 11:00 pm at Anna Head Alumnae Hall at UC Berkeley.
The resolution is part of a larger initiative (#DivestTurkey) spearheaded by the Armenian Youth Federation Western United States (AYF), calling on institutions to divest from the Republic of Turkey,
“With the support of not only our Armenian community here at Cal, but also with the Berkeley community at large, we are so proud to have been a part of history tonight with the passing of this bill at UC Berkeley” said Sareen Habeshian, a UC Berkeley student and Armenian Student Association member.
Raffi Margossian, UC Berkeley sophomore and ASA executive member stated, “I’m proud to see the ASUC take measures to hold our Regents accountable. I think it’s outrageous that our tuition money is invested without student input. This bill sends a larger message that calls for the need for student voice in UC investments”
The bill’s passage comes a few weeks after the UCLA student body government unanimously passed a similar resolution, and just two weeks after a University of California Student Association (UCSA) bill that was passed in Los Angeles also demanding divestment from the government of Turkey.
“I, like so many others, have grown up surrounded by conversations about ‘Hye Tad’ but it was always so abstract. What could someone like me do to raise the Armenian Cause, to move it forward, to fight for it? I am 100 years removed from the Genocide, I don’t live in the Homeland, I didn’t go to an Armenian school growing up, yet there has always been a pull towards something bigger than myself. We, as UC students, were given the chance to finally raise the Armenian Cause and fight for what is right and what is just. The Cause doesn’t belong in places only filled with Armenians. It should permeate every aspect of our life — our homes, our work place and especially our school — which is exactly what we did tonight by calling for the divestment of our tuition from the Republic of Turkey.” said Christina Mehranbod, UC Berkeley senior and AYF member.
To find out more about the (#DivestTurkey) Initiative contact DIvestment@AYFWest.org.