The first BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) resolutions were proposed in student governments in 2005-6, of the four introduced, two passed and two were defeated. Only five other resolutions were proposed in the following five academic years combined and three of those were defeated. The campaign began to take off in 2012-13 with 10 resolutions (six were defeated), followed by 19 in 2013-14 (12 were defeated) and 27 in 2014-15 (20 were defeated). Since that upsurge, the movement has shown signs of petering out.
In the last 14 years (2005-2019):
- A total of 130 BDS measures have been considered – 87 were defeated (66%).
- Those votes were limited to a total of 68 schools, less than 2% of America’s 4,298 four-year colleges. (The California Community College Association is counted as one college and the UC Student Association, which has no power and represents no individual schools is excluded as were four graduate student programs).
- A total of 38 schools have approved a BDS resolution in the last 14 years, which represents about 1% of universities.*
- A total of 54 schools have rejected BDS (there is some overlap as some of these have adopted BDS in other years) .
- A total of 29 schools had two or more votes; 9 schools had three or more (Ohio State, Berkeley, Davis, Riverside, UCSB, UCSD, UCSC, Michigan, Dearborn), and 6 schools had four (Michigan, Michigan Dearborn, UC Riverside, UCSD, UCSB, Ohio State). Most votes - 6 (UCSB [defeated every time], Michigan, Michigan-Dearborn).
- Only 5 schools (Michigan Dearborn, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and UC Davis) have passed BDS more than once.
- Of the 68 schools that voted on BDS, 11 were ranked in the top 20 and 11 of 15 (73%) resolutions were defeated.
- A total of 22 schools in the top 50 entertained BDS initiatives and 32 of 48 were defeated (67%). In 2019, Brown became the first Ivy League school to pass a divestment resolution.
Even the handful of divestment resolutions that were adopted by students have no authority and administrators have repeatedly made clear they have no intention of divesting from Israel. In fact, many of the same schools (e.g., UCI) dramatically increased cooperation with Israel after the votes. Overall, about 97% percent of American campuses have had no divestment votes and have little or no BDS activity.
|Arizona State University||FAILED|
|California Community College Student Senate||FAILED|
|Cal State Long Beach||PASSED||FAILED19|
|De Anza College||PASSED|
|Evergreen State College|
|Florida Atlantic University (FAU)||FAILED|
|George Washington University||PASSED||FAILED||FAILED|
|Grand Valley State||FAILED|
|New York University||FAILED33|
|Pitzer College||FAILED22 / 23|
|Princeton University (Undergrad)||FAILED|
|Rutgers University -Newark||PASSED||FAILED|
|San Diego State University||FAILED||FAILED|
|San Jose State||PASSED|
|The Ohio State University||FAILED||FAILED26||FAILED||FAILED||FAILED|
|Tufts||FAILED22 / 23|
|University of California, Berkeley||PASSED5|
|University of California, Davis||FAILED6||FAILED|
|University of California, Irvine||PASSED|
|University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)||PASSED||FAILED|
|University of California, Merced||PASSED||FAILED|
|University of California, Riverside||FAILED25||PASSED||FAILED||PASSED7|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||FAILED||FAILED29||FAILED||FAILED||FAILED|
|University of California, San Diego||PASSED|
|University of California, Santa Cruz||PASSED12||FAILED|
|University of Chicago||PASSED|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||FAILED28||FAILED|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||FAILED19|
|University of Indianapols||PASSED15|
|Loyola University, Chicago||PASSED||FAILED9|
|University of Maryland||FAILED35||FAILED|
|University of Massachussetts, Amherst||FAILED|
|University of Massachussetts, Boston|
|University of Michigan||PASSED||FAILED||FAILED||FAILED|
|University of Michigan Dearborn||PASSED||FAILED16||PASSED|
|University of Michigan Flint||PASSED|
|University of Minnesota||PASSED28||FAILED17|
|University of New Mexico||FAILED||FAILED|
|University of Oregon||FAILED32|
|University of South Florida||FAILED27||FAILED14|
|University of Texas, Austin||FAILED|
|University of Washington||FAILED|
|University of Toledo #3||FAILED|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||PASSED15|
|University of Wisconsin, Plattesville|
|California Community College Student Senate|
|Cal State Long Beach|
|De Anza College|
|Evergreen State College||PASSED|
|Florida Atlantic University (FAU)|
|George Washington University|
|Grand Valley State|
|New York University Graduate Union|
|Princeton University (Undergrad)|
|Rutgers University -Newark|
|San Diego State University|
|San Jose State|
|The Graduate Center, CUNY|
|The Ohio State University|
|University of California, Berkeley||FAILED||FAILED30|
|University of California, Davis||PASSED|
|University of California, Irvine||PASSED|
|University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)|
|University of California, Merced|
|University of California, Riverside||FAILED8|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||FAILED|
|University of California, San Diego||PASSED||FAILED||FAILED|
|University of California, Santa Cruz||FAILED|
|University of Chicago|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Chicago|
|University of Indianapols|
|Loyola University, Chicago|
|University of Massachussetts, Amherst||FAILED10|
|University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Graduate Employee Organization / UAW 2322)|
|University of Massachussetts, Boston||PASSED|
|University of Michigan||FAILED||FAILED11|
|University of Michigan Dearborn||PASSED||PASSED||PASSED|
|University of Minnesota|
|University of New Mexico (Undergrad)|
|University of South Florida||FAILED|
|University of Texas, Austin|
|University of Washington|
|University of Washington Grads|
|University of Toledo #3|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison|
|University of Wisconsin, Plattesville||PASSED|
6 2015 passed then failed on technicality, then passed again. Ruled unconstitutional in 2019.
24Trustees announced they would not divest from Israel in 2015 http://oberlinreview.org/9008/news/board-rejects-student-divestment-proposals/.
% BDS Lost
|*Doesn't count 3 watered down resolutions that passed|
In 2009, under pressure from anti-Israel activists, Hampshire college divested from a mutual fund with Israeli holdings but denied the decision was boycott related
In 2010, Berkeley passed a divestment resolution, which was vetoed by the student government president and that veto was sustained nullifying the resolution.
In 2010, DePaul and Princeton boycotted Sabra Hummus but that was reversed.
In 2015, Western Washington preemptively voted against all boycotts
In 2015, the UC Student Association (UCSA) passed a divestment resolution, but it is not counted as a campus.
#*In 2015-16, four graduate programs voted on divestment: the NYU Graduate Union voted no; graduate students at CUNY, Amherst and the U of Washington voted yes. NYU vote was later reversed by UAW.
Sources: AICE and news sources.