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Submission against SR-S17-14

student government

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George Washington University

campus

Submission against SR-S17-14

A sophomore's letter to his SA representatives

Courtney Buble

4.30.17

The following is submission against SR-S17-14 from Nolan Hausler, a sophomore pursuing a B.A. in journalism and mass communication and minor in organizational sciences.


To my Student Association representatives,

First, I want to thank you for your continued dedication to GW and the Student Association. As someone who has recently become more involved with the SA, and believes strongly in its power as an advocating body, I truly appreciate your dedication. For those of you continuing your tenure, and for those of you that are new to this body, I am excited to work closely with you, in both formal and informal capacities, over the next year to help make GW the best it can be. I hope that as a friend, a constituent, and a fellow student you will read and listen to what I have to say.

The reason I’m reaching out today is about SR-S17-14, The Advancement of Palestinian Human Rights Act. As you now know, this resolution sits before the SA Senate. I’ve thought a great deal about this issue, as well as what’s been happening on campus lately. I’ve read over the legislation a few times, I’ve had sleepless nights, and I’ve had plenty of conversations with other students. The past few weeks have been a learning experience for me, and one that I did not expect to have at GW. I’ve learned about building relationships, I’ve pondered and solidified some of my beliefs, and I’ve explored our universities intricacies.

A few things are now clear in my mind:

Palestinian human rights matter. Israel matters. I matter.

I’ve learned so much about the Israeli-Palestinean conflict over the years, but only now have I been put face to face with those who so tangibly feel and represent the suffering of so many Palestinians. For better or for worse, it was never real for me. It wasn’t here, it wasn’t on the top of my mind. So often, it is easy to talk about things in theory, but now theory is out the window. Fellow GW students have allowed me to learn more, and have opened up my mind about this issue. They’ve brought it to the forefront of my conversations, to my email inbox, and to my twitter feed. I am now thinking about this, and for that I am grateful.

What I can not, do not, and will not support is bringing up these issues at the expense of Israel’s legitimacy. I care about ending Palestinian suffering, and although my solution may not be the same as everyone else’s, I respect theirs as well. Among the solutions that I don’t respect include SR-S17-14. This resolution presents a simplified, one-sided narrative that ignores so many of the intricacies on the ground. Israel and Palestine are complex issues — human lives are complex issues — but this resolution isn’t complex. I expect my SA representatives to do a lot of things, but I don’t expect them to navigate this. It is one of the hardest issues that faces our world, and I’m determined to find a solution. But, this isn’t it.

A solution, or at least part of one, can come about through our community. It can come about through conversations and dialogue, through forums and events, and through mutual respect and understanding. I don’t see one coming about through the Student Association Senate. What I do see coming about is division, hate, and confusion.


I want to work with the SA, with the university, and with those on all sides of this issue to help those suffering. I want to talk, think, and listen. I want to do it because I care, and I want to do it because they care. I want to do it because I matter, and I want to do it because human rights matter. I want to, but right now I can’t.


You have the opportunity to change that. You have the opportunity to bring together our community, not divide it. I’m just not sure yet if you’ll take it.

Very Respectfully,

Nolan Hausler
GW Class of 2019 | School of Media and Public Affairs


The Rival is not taking a stance on SR S17-14. We welcome all views and opinions on the divestment matter. Want to submit an op-ed? Email The Rival at gw@therival.news.