May 18, 2011
DePaul University students voting on hummus brand
Students at DePaul University in Chicago are voting on what brand of hummus they want served on campus.
The outcome of this week’s student referendum, which was requested by Students for Justice in Palestine, is nonbinding.
The Sabra brand of the chickpea dip had been served until last November, when the pro-Palestinian student group objected because Sabra is half-owned by The Strauss Group. Strauss has publicly supported the Israel Defense Forces troops, and provides care packages and sports equipment to Israel’s Golani and Givati brigades.
The DePaul food service suspended selling Sabra hummus, even though the request did not go through the university’s internal Fair Business Practices Committee, as is customary. The brand was reinstated pending a decision by the committee, which will take the student referendum into consideration.
The Fair Business Practices Committee is made up of three faculty members, three students and eight staff representatives. Its purpose is to protect the integrity of the university’s mission and values by examining issues raised concerning DePaul’s contracts and contractors.
The committee is set to make a recommendation soon to the university’s president, according to the university, who will make a final decision.
The initiative is “one more salvo in the global assault on Israel’s right to exist,” Michael Kotzin, executive vice president of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, said in a statement.
“As trivial as the determination of which kind of hummus to serve to students at a local university may seem, this campaign has serious ramifications. SJP is using misleading language to cloak their real intention in the guise of concern for human rights. In fact, their ultimate goal is the elimination of the State of Israel.”
In December, a Princeton student referendum on whether to ask the university’s dining services to provide an alternative brand of hummus to Sabra was defeated.