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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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City College’s SJP Club persuades ASG to pass ceasefire resolution

Jack Connell
Two members of City College’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club hold a handmade picket sign calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine on Monday, April 29. The club members requested The Channels keep their identity hidden.

Catalyzed by a student petition with over 250 signatures, widespread campus activism, and several consecutive visits to the Associated Student Government’s (ASG) board meetings, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club successfully persuaded the ASG to draft and pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.

The ceasefire resolution had been the club’s primary goal since its conception on April 5 by Ferdaouss Elmoussaid, the SJP club president.

“Overall, we’re very pleased,” Elmoussaid stated. “We’re really happy there was an 11-1 vote; that’s fantastic.”

The ASG spent over a month drafting the resolution since March 8, when Robin Isherwood, the SJP club’s secretary, presented the petition for a ceasefire resolution to the board. As Elmoussaid stated, the vote was nearly unanimous when it passed on April 19.

The resolution made several points in favor of the club’s rhetoric, including a condemnation of the violence in Gaza, as well as a concessive criticism of the terror attack that took place in Israel on October 7.

Despite the resolution’s content, which brought awareness to the violence in Gaza, Elmoussaid felt as though “the wording was tricky.”

“They mentioned the genocide,” Elmoussaid said. “Although, [ASG] said that ‘Amnesty International’ states that it’s a genocide, not that ASG states that it’s a genocide.”

Though the club’s demands were not entirely met by the student senate, they will likely focus their attention on other events, and push for more activism on campus.

At the ASG meeting on April 26, Isherwood made a public comment to the board, acknowledging their vote in favor of the resolution.

“I came to thank you for passing the resolution for a [ceasefire],” Isherwood said. “And also to remind us all that our collective work as students for justice in Palestine is far from over.” 

During their public comment in the ASG meeting, Isherwood mentioned the ongoing student protests on campuses such as Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, promoting their schools’ divestment from entities giving monetary support to Israel.

“We as SJP stand in solidarity with these students and their protest,” Isherwood said to the ASG. “This call for divestment is one that Palestinians have long urged the world to take up, and it has historic precedent.”

Two members of City College’s SJP club drape the Palestinian flag over their shoulders to show their support for Palestinians on April 29, 2024, outside City College’s east campus cafeteria in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Jack Connell)

Following the passing of the resolution, the club plans to promote City College’s divestment from such entities, starting with the Starbucks located in the student store, as many individuals have deemed it anti-Palestinian.

“We’ve heard that it’s a yearly contract, so there’s not a big tie between Starbucks and SBCC,” Elmoussaid stated. “If we could get enough petitions going in ASG and get enough support… we could definitely get them out.”

Isherwood mentioned the club’s intent to replace the current Starbucks with an independent, student-run coffee shop such as the “Buzz Shack,” which used to be in the east campus cafeteria.

The club has several other events planned for the remainder of the semester, including a screening of the film “Israelism” which explores the dynamic between the two predominant cultures in the regions of Israel and Palestine.

The SJP club will host the screening in the BC Forum on the west campus. The date is still being decided, and it will be advertised around campus before the end of the semester.

Additionally, the club is recommending that graduating students show solidarity for Palestinians during this year’s commencement ceremony.

“Flags, Keffiyehs, which are Palestinian scarves, pins, stickers– we’re trying to make those resources available to the community,” Isherwood said.

Although the semester’s end is rapidly approaching, the club still welcomes students who show interest in their message and their on-campus endeavors.

To address the possible divisiveness of the group’s message, Emiliano, a member of the club who chose to be referred to only by his first name, stated that the club does not discriminate and accepts all members.

“We include Jewish members in the SJP [and] we welcome any and all Jewish people to join,” Emiliano said. “As long as they don’t preach the Zionist, pro-genocide rhetoric.”

Isherwood also made a comment along the same lines.

“We want to make it clear that we do not support anti-semitism,” Isherwood said. “Jewish people are our comrades, our brethren. We don’t want people to feel that we are threatening them or trying to denounce their identity, their religion– we just want peace, safety, and liberation for all people.”

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