• GW College Democrats Executive Board

Endorsement of Academic Freedom and Genocide Divestment Act, Call for Review of GWU-PRC Relationship

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This morning, the Defending Academic Freedom and Uyghur Genocide Divestment Act was filed to the George Washington University (GWU) Student Association. While our organizations represent a diverse and broad coalition of students from various backgrounds, perspectives, and beliefs, we are united in our endorsement of this resolution. Together, we call for its swift passage and a whole-of-community effort to address the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its proxies to students, and to the integrity of GWU's endowment.


We condemn all racist anti-Asian sentiment, violence, and hateful acts. No one political entity can represent or monopolize a culture, people, and identity. We therefore seek to clearly distinguish between the CCP and China as a whole.


We believe that the current relationship between GWU and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is deeply exploitative, unjust, and unsustainable. At present, the rights of students from the PRC and other communities targeted by the CCP exist only on paper. This is due to pervasive intimidation, monitoring, and coercion by proxies of the CCP on our campus, including through PRC-government funded and operated Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs). CSSAs are generally included within "United Front work," which functions as both a system and a political method employed by the CCP to further its political goals, including through the suppression of rights abroad. The GWU CSSA has vocally proclaimed its ties to the PRC government, even going so far as to state in a past promotional video that it "worked with" and was "directed by the [PRC] Embassy." The lack of student rights is also caused by the failure of our university's current policies to protect these students. The opacity of our university's endowment prevents us from knowing whether GWU and our tuition dollars are complicit in the genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, as well as other human rights abuses committed by the CCP.


Our goal is to build a community that empowers and protects students and scholars from the PRC and other affected communities, and one in which GWU is not complicit in genocide. Students at GWU across the political spectrum are united in support. We hope that the Student Association acts in a manner which both reflects and respects our general will.


We stand in solidarity with the oppressed students and scholars inside of the PCR and on our own campus. We stand in solidarity with the Uyghur intellectuals and academics who have been disappeared and forced into concentration camps. We support the Defending Academic Freedom and Uyghur Genocide Divestment Act, filed by Senator Ian Ching, and call for its swift passage.


Signed,


Athenai Institute

GW College Democrats

GW College Republicans

GW Law Uyghur Human Rights Initiative

Sunrise GWU



CONTACTS:

Athena Institute, info@athenai.org

GW College Democrats, democrat@gwu.edu

GW College Republicans, gwcollegerepublicans@gmail.com

GW Law Uyghur Human Rights Initiative, Joel Tubman, uhri@law.gwu.edu

Sunrise GW, Keigan McCullagh, gwusunrise@gmail.com