The College of the Canyons board of trustees is scheduled to vote at Wednesday’s regular meeting on a community member’s request to have the board instruct the chancellor to sign a statement of support for Israel.
“Shall the board of trustees instruct Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook to sign the statement of support for Israel Against Hamas as requested by Universities United Against Terrorism on behalf of the Santa Clarita Community College District and College of the Canyons,” reads a Nov. 9 letter from Steve Petzold to Van Hook and board President Edel Alonso.
The COC administration did not provide a recommendation for the agenda item.
According to its website, Universities United Against Terrorism stands for the following: “Hamas is a terrorist organization and the Palestinian people are not represented by Hamas. In fact, they are being harmed by Hamas.”
Some of the founding members of the coalition include leaders from Baylor University, Arizona State University, the University of West Virginia and the University of Miami.
The Israel-Hamas conflict began on Oct. 7 when Hamas, listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government, attacked civilians including attendees of a music festival in Israel near the Gaza border. Israeli officials estimate that approximately 1,200 people died in the attack.
Approximately 70% of those killed were civilians, according to Israeli officials. U.S. officials have said that at least 31 American citizens have died in Israel since Oct. 7. In response to the Oct. 7 attack, Israel declared war on Hamas.
A recent seven-day truce saw more than 100 hostages released, according to Reuters, which added that there are still 137 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza.
The United States recently vetoed a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, with the vote being 13-1 in favor of the resolution. The United Kingdom abstained from the vote. As a permanent member of the U.N.’s Security Council, the U.S. has the power to veto any resolution.