[This statement was released on 15 April 2016.]
The Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of The City University of New York (CUNY) has adopted a Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, by a vote of 42-18 with nine abstentions. At the same meeting, the DSC also overwhelmingly adopted the Resolution Calling for Expanded Tuition Remission for Graduate Center Students.
The mission of the DSC includes promoting democracy within CUNY and enabling students to participate in important social, political, and economic decisions that affect their community. The council also advocates for graduate student interests with the Graduate Center administration, university-wide political bodies, the CUNY Board of Trustees, the New York State Assembly, and the Mayor’s Office.
Historically, the Doctoral Students’ Council has broadly embraced its role as a political entity of and for students. The organization itself was a product of student activism during the 1960s, and the first resolution it passed opposed the Vietnam War.
Resolutions passed by the Doctoral Students’ Council have included calls for CUNY to divest from fossil fuels, respect students’ rights to free speech and assembly, and have condemned police surveillance of CUNY student organizations. The DSC’s past efforts have also resulted in the creation of a Graduate Center parental leave policy for student workers. Members of the council also successfully moved blood drives off of the campus because their policies discriminated against LGBTQ students.
The Doctoral Students’ Council, as an autonomous body within CUNY, affirms its support of student voices in all facets of politics. We are governed by our own Constitution and Bylaws, and we remain committed to providing a respectful platform for student engagement on this and other issues as per our founding principles. The DSC leadership remains committed to free speech and democratic processes.