Bashar al-Assad, former president of Syria, announced this morning he would be stepping down from his position following pressure to resign from the Associated Students of Madison (ASM). ASM is University of Wisconsin’s student governance committee.
Assad’s announcement came two days after ASM released a statement asking him to leave the presidency. The statement read: “We the students of ASM call on the discriminatory and oppressive regime of Bashar al-Assad to come to an end, and that Assad himself step down from his position as president. Assad’s rule has been cruel and unfair, and for too long he has ignored the needs and rights of the people he controls.”
“While ASM is not affiliated or have any legal power over Syria, it was clear once this statement was shown to Mr. Assad that he no longer felt like the rightful leader of Syria,” said Damascus spokesperson Adnan Tarek.
Earlier in the week, ASM had called upon Chancellor Blank to step down from her position. While Blank was able to resist the mounting pressure of one released statement, the Assad regime was quick to cave to ASM’s demands.
ASM primarily handles funds for student organizations and houses student committees. The Student Governance recently passed divestment legislation calling the university to divest from companies and banks “oppressing minorities and committing human rights violations.” University leaders rejected the proposition, and promptly ASM released a statement calling for Blank’s resignation.
This statement read: “We the students of ASM call on the discriminatory and oppressive leadership of Chancellor Blank to come to an end, and that Rebecca Blank herself step down from her position as chancellor. Blank’s rule has been cruel and unfair, and for too long she has ignored the needs and rights of the people she controls.”
Blank said “no” to stepping down.
While Blank remains in power, Assad has taken head of ASM’s written words. It is unclear the next move of ASM. It has been reported they may look to release a statement against Venezuelan President Maduro, or possibly continue their pursuit of Blank, this time through an Op-ed in the Badger Herald.