Jennifer Bing, AFSC Chicago staff, passes along this good news from Loyola Students for Justice in Palestine. Chicago AFSC Middle East program staff and fellows provided resources and support on this effort over the past year.

"At approximately 6:30PM on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the Student Senate of Loyola University Chicago, the largest Jesuit University in the nation, voted to divest from the Israeli Occupation with a vote of 26-0-2.

"The piece of legislation, introduced by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), asks that Loyola withdraw investments from the following corporations if currently invested in them: Caterpillar, General Electric, Hewlitt-Packard Company, Group 4 Securicor, Raytheon, Elbit Systems, SodaStream, and Veolia.

"With signed support from over 800 undergraduate students, SJP asks that Loyola’s assets for investment be further examined beyond these eight specific companies to ensure that the university does not profit from companies that play significant roles in structural violence enacted against the Palestinian people.

"In passing divestment, Loyola University Chicago is upholding the Jesuit traditions and values that it represents. Divestment is a nonviolent strategy that is aimed at pressuring corporations to withdraw from businesses violating human rights. SJP LUC hopes that this success signals the beginning of future successes for other universities and Jesuit institutions in the United States.

"As members of an institute of higher education, it is our [the students’] responsibility to draw attention to these social justice abuses. SJP LUC stands in solidarity with Palestine and continues to stress the severity of the conflict."