A student-proposed bill to condemn anti-Semitism, vetoed by student government President Mitchell Rosenberg in May, was reintroduced during a roundtable discussion Nov. 7.
The six students and two student government senators who attended decided to remove all content referring to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from the original bill to concentrate it more toward on-campus discrimination in general.
Rosenberg told The Panther he expects that the bill will be officially re-drafted in the next few weeks.
The main concern some students had with the bill in May was that it took a political stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, said Safi Nazzal, who is the president of the Students for Justice in Palestine club, during the discussion.
The bill concerned some students by using the U.S. Department of State’s definition of anti-Semitism, which recognizes that anti-Semitism is related to Israel – although the bill stated that it didn’t take a side on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Anytime a state is associated with the people, or the people are associated with the state, there is a problem,” Nazzal told The Panther. “I don’t think (the bill) should be related to the state (of Israel) and its government.”
Rosenberg told The Panther in May that he vetoed the bill because it wasn’t something the Chapman administration would adopt into its policies.
Before his veto Rosenberg said that the club that drafted the bill, Students Supporting Israel, announced that Chapman passed a “pro-Israel” resolution.
“We are not taking a political stance,” Rosenberg said during the discussion. “There’s several ways we’re looking to define it, but we have to remember we’re focusing on staying on campus at Chapman.”
Rosenberg also told attendees that he was concerned the bill was brought before a newly elected senate in May at a 10 p.m. meeting – without being publicized to students beforehand.
“(The) senate didn’t talk to anybody (about the bill), and students didn’t give their verbal support,” Rosenberg said. “I condemn campus anti-Semitism, but if we wanted (the bill) to be successful, we had to do our job.”
Rosenberg also asked the group of students Nov. 7 why this resolution would be different than the university’s current policies against violence and discrimination, and asked what other marginalized on-campus groups may think, questioning if there should be a resolution about every group on campus that may be subject to discrimination.
Taylor Onderko, the president of pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy organization J Street U, responded to Rosenberg’s questions, suggesting opening the resolution to other groups.
“I think if you ask the campus what groups are marginalized that would like to be included, that’s out there for them to take advantage of,” she said.