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Sabra to stay on campus after committee reaches decision

By Jenn Schanz
On May 23, 2011

Last week's nationally talked about Sabra hummus referendum has been voted upon. According to a university press release sent out the morning of Monday May 23rd, acting upon the recommendation of DePaul's Fair Business Practices Committee, Sabra brand hummus will remain on DePaul's shelves.

The debate on-campus initially began when student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) voiced concerns over the brand in early November on grounds that Sabra, co-owned by the Strauss Group, was actively providing financial support to two Israeli Defense Force units involved in human rights violations.

Although nearly 80% of votes were in favor of the Sabra removal, the final decision rested in the Fair Business Practice Committee, who did not find enough substantial evidence connected Sabra to the IDF units to warrant a product ban.

According to the university press release, sent by Director of the News and Information Bureau Robin Florzak, the Fair Business Practices Committee integrated student input from both sides of the issue along with facts and statistics fathered about the brand in order to make a recommendation. Based on the committee's research, allowing the continued sale of Sabra in the DePaul cafeterias does not interfere with the university's mission and values.

"While we recognize the original complaint made by DePaul students arose from genuine concerns surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the judgment of the Fair Business Practices Committee there do not appear to be sufficient grounds for a boycott of Sabra Hummus, primarily because the committee did not find evidence that the Strauss Group provides direct military support for units within the Israeli Defense Forces," the committee concluded.

University president Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., expressed his gratitude in the student body's initiative to investigate such consumer responsibility concerns. "I am well aware that these concerns were raised with good faith and honorable intentions. I'm proud of all our students at DePaul and very glad that they would fight on behalf of justice as they see and understand the issues at hand," DePaul's President said.

SJP also released a statement, expressing no sense of defeat in the Referendum's outcome. "As long as Sabra remains the school's hummus brand of choice, SJP's campaign is not over."


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