Students won’t vote on if Ohio State should divest this year.
An initiative asking the university to cut financial ties from companies “complicit in Israeli human rights violations and the occupation of the Palestinian Territories,” according to the OSU Divest website. has been removed from this year’s Undergraduate Student Government ballot.
According to the Judicial Panel of USG, for a petition to be valid, it has to have the name of the circulator on every page. The petition from OSU Divest failed to have the name on all the pages, the panel said, so the pages without the name were thrown out.
OSU Divest is an organization that aims to encourage the university to divest “from companies complicit in Israeli human rights violations and the occupation of the Palestinian Territories,” according to its website.
“The petitioned initiative will not appear on the ballot, seeing as the invalidity of the pages submitted does not leave a sufficient amount of signatures for the petition to appear on the ballot,” the panel’s decision read, adding that if the name had appeared on every page, the issue would have appeared on the ballot.
The Judicial Panel noted that it was not a direct consequence of invalid signatures, but of invalid pagination.
OSU Divest argued that the language USG cited in its election bylaws doesn’t apply to petitions, but the Judicial Panel disagreed, noting that other portions of those bylaws were followed correctly by the petitioners.
The organization also argued against a clerk acting as a plaintiff in the hearing, but the Judicial Panel said that argument was not substantiated because the panel is the sole body that deals with election matters.
Clarification: March 10, 2015
This article was updated to reflect that OSU Divest isn’t asking to divest from the nation of Israel, but rather from companies “complicit in Israeli human rights violations and the occupation of the Palestinian Territories.”