Associated Students Inc. Senate passed a resolution Wednesday urging the university to not create financial ties with companies complicit in Uyghur internment and the suppression of other Chinese persons.
The motion passed 18-2-0 on its first reading. This was the Senate’s first live-streamed meeting since the university’s shift to virtual learning.
The bill makes sure ASI is not investing in any companies or organizations that are complicit or profit from the oppression in Xinjiang re-education camps, which detain millions of Uyghurs and other ethnic groups.
Sen. Jireh Deng, who co-authored the resolution, said that China uses its economic might to force countries not to recognize the rights of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“It’s kind of crazy when we think about how much money we actually manage,” Deng said. She clarified that the resolution is ASI, as a non-profit organization and board of directors, “trying to make sure we maintain the integrity of where we invest and making sure we’re not giving any support to any organizations that might be furthering the oppression of folks that are in China or abroad.”
The Uyghurs are a Turkish Muslim minority from Northwestern China who have been subjugated to internment camps by the Chinese government since 2017. The internment camps are part of the Chinese government’s “people’s war on terror.”
“We see that in the news with the Hong Kong protesters and how crazy it’s gotten where students were literally in a university and shut off from the rest of the world and they were protesting and being arrested for just speaking out about how they want to have their rights,” Deng said.
Sen. Sumaiyah Hossain, the co-author, said that the resolution looks to make sure ASI is aware and not only acting as an isolated body of students. She said that it’s essentially the cultural genocide and the suppression of Taiwan and Hong Kong that this resolution stands against.
“We look at our students and our communities and all people who are either discriminated against or persecuted under other entities,” Hossain said.
The next ASI Senate meeting will be live-streamed on March 25 at 3:30 p.m.