The UC Board of Regents voted to appoint UC Berkeley’s Sadia Saifuddin as the first Muslim student regent-designate ever yesterday, despite some controversy over her support of attempts to divest UC funds from companies working with the Israeli military.
The vote for Saifuddin’s appointment was unanimous among the regents except for Richard Blum, who abstained, stating, “If you’re going to be the student representative, you have to represent all students. You don’t want to alienate them. … So I’ve got a problem with this.”
In the spring, Saifuddin co-sponsored a UC Berkeley student government bill that aimed to divest funds from companies that sell to the Israeli military, citing evidence of Israel’s human rights violations in the region.
At a press conference after her appointment, Saifuddin stated, “(B)eing on the receiving end of these attacks is difficult, but it’s not something that’s unexpected or unforeseen, and it’s something that I’ll learn to deal with better every day.”
During the meeting, she stressed her conciliatory skills.
“I think that the UC is standing at a critical juncture right now, and it’s really important for us to come together,” Saifuddin stated.