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Judicial board to hold hearing on alleged conflicts of interest

By Daily Bruin

May 6, 2014 8:56 p.m.

The undergraduate student government Judicial Board will hold a hearing next week to review the legitimacy of two current councilmembers’ votes on a controversial divestment resolution that went to council last quarter.

The hearing will be held May 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. and will be open to the university public, according to an Undergraduate Students Association Council Judicial Board memorandum.

In April, Students for Justice in Palestine submitted a petition to the board claiming that USAC General Representative Sunny Singh and USAC Financial Supports Commissioner Lauren Rogers engaged in a conflict of interest by voting on the resolution, which called for UCLA and the University of California to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

The petition claims that Singh’s vote constituted a conflict of interest because he went on a free trip to Israel last summer, which was paid for by the Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Israel lobbying group that aims to stop anti-Semitism.

The student group also claimed Rogers engaged in a conflict of interest because she went on a trip to Israel paid for by Project Interchange, which aims to increase individuals’ understanding of Israel.

USAC bylaws state that a conflict of interest arises when councilmembers have any “unauthorized financial interest or obligation which might cause divided loyalty or even the appearance of divided loyalty.”

Singh and Rogers have said their votes did not constitute conflicts of interest because they did not receive any financial benefits for them and were not obligated to act in any way because of the trips.

Seating at the May 15 hearing will be limited and given on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to the memorandum. The hearing’s location has not yet been set.

Compiled by Sam Hoff, Bruin staff.

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