In a unanimous vote, 11 members of UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) voted in favor of a resolution which affirmed the 1st Amendment right of National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) to hold a conference at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center from November 16th to 18th.
The meeting was called for 7pm on November 13th and lasted until 11pm in the Ackerman Bruin Viewpoint room.
Initially, councilmembers and members of the public objected to Ha’Am’s decision to record the public proceedings, claiming that established USAC precedent does not allow third parties to record USAC meetings. Further, concerns were expressed that a public broadcast would infringe on the privacy and safety of those speakers who expressed support for the resolution.
After Ha’Am asserted its constitutional right to record the meeting, members of the room insisted that public comments not be filmed. To respect the privacy of those SJP supporters who feared public backlash, Ha’Am conceded and did not record a majority of public comments.
Ha’Am’s footage can be viewed here.
Following public comment, USAC discussed the resolution before moving into executive session for a private vote. The resolution’s passage, 11-0-0, was announced at 10:57 pm.
Notably, the final language of the resolution contained no mention of the kite found in the NSJP Conference’s logo, which Administrative Vice Chancellor Beck noted could be interpreted as “an intention to endorse violence against Israel.”
Also absent from the resolution was any reference to last year’s Students Supporting Israel event (SSI) entitled Indigenous Peoples Unite, which was disrupted by pro-Palestinian advocates both affiliated and unaffiliated with UCLA.
In the wake of that event, last year’s Council did not pass a resolution affirming Jewish Zionists’ right to free expression.