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Cornell students vote to divest from weapons manufacturers in historic referendum

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  • Staff Report 

Cornell University students recently passed a significant referendum calling for a permanent ceasefire and divestment from companies involved in the alleged genocide against Palestinians. This vote marks the first such initiative by the undergraduate Student Assembly in over 25 years, drawing a 47% turnout with each question gaining around 70% support. The motion, led by the university’s Jewish Voice for Peace and backed by 36 campus groups, demands the university sever financial ties with ten specific weapons manufacturers.


During the voting period, the campus experienced heightened tensions, including the arraignment of 22 students and two staff members for a peaceful sit-in protest. This event underscored the largest mass arrest at Cornell in nearly two decades, reminiscent of historical protests for divestment from South African apartheid.

The results of the referendum, while not binding, compel Cornell’s administration to respond. The university president, Martha Pollack, has been given a 30-day window to address the student body’s decision. This result has energized student activists who vow to continue their advocacy, emphasizing the symbolic victory as a step towards broader organizational goals.