A resolution to ban Sabra-brand hummus on campus was introduced recently to Student Senate and was passed during the Dec. 3 meeting. Sabra is a U.S.-based company, partly owned by Strauss Group, an international food company headquartered in Israel. Pepsi Co. is also a part owner.
The college issued this statement:
Dickinson encourages students to voice their opinions and affect change through our governance structure. We are pleased that the discussion about this issue at the Student Senate meeting was civil and that competing opinions were articulated.
As an institution that deeply values global diversity and civil discussion and debate, Dickinson opposes this boycott. In 2014, we rejected the call from the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli universities and instead maintained our ongoing relationships with three Israeli institutions. We reject the current call for boycott on the same grounds.
Students have committed to continue with the open dialogue and active listening that they demonstrated during the discussion. We are confident that as they grapple with this and other complex issues they will continue to seek out and consider multiple perspectives and draw on the critical thinking and analysis skills they are developing here at Dickinson.
Dickinson students who oppose Israel’s policies toward Palestinians introduced the resolution. Other students introduced a counter-resolution, which called for a compromise to keep Sabra on campus, while also offering an alternative brand. Both resolutions included a commitment to ongoing dialogue around the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Students co-sponsoring both resolutions as well as members of the community who spoke re-affirmed their opposition to any statements or actions that are anti-Semitic or Islamophobic.
This has been an issue at many other schools in recent years, including Swarthmore, Davidson, Wesleyan (Connecticut) and Brown.
The hummus served in the dining hall at Dickinson is homemade. Sabra hummus is available for purchase in the Devil’s Den and at Sideline.
Published December 5, 2019