Re: “Skorton Announces Sudan Policy,” News, Aug. 23
To the Editor:
On behalf of STARS and the Jewish Student Union, we would like to personally thank President Skorton and the Cornell University administration for addressing the genocide in Darfur. To date, the Sudanese government has been responsible for over 400,000 deaths and millions of displaced refugees in the Darfur region. Cornell has a moral duty not to provide financial support for companies that directly fund the Sudanese government’s actions. We appreciate that the administration has recognized the extent of the human rights violations under Omar Al Bashir’s regime and that it has responded appropriately to them.
Moreover, we agree with Professor Weiss that divestment is only one method of applying external pressure to Al Bashir’s regime. We must also explore options that directly help to protect civilians and aid workers. We recommend that the Cornell administration not only renounce the actions of the Sudanese government but that it also raise money or donate some of its earnings for NGOs and humanitarian organizations working in Darfur. At Tufts University, there is a student café on campus which donates all of its proceeds to Oxfam International. Perhaps Cornell University could similarly set up an entity or a trust fund that raises money to help victims of the genocide in Darfur.
Ray Bai ’07, President, STARS
Sheryl Gordon ’07, Chair, Cornell Hillel Jewish Student Union