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Resolution for Associated Students

Staff Report

85th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

HEREAS, Armenians living in their 3,000 year historic homeland in Asia Minor were subjected to severe persecution and brutal injustice by the Turkish rulers of the Ottoman Empire before and after the turn of the 20th century, including widespread acts of destruction and murder during the period from 1894-1896 and again in 1909; and

WHEREAS, The horrible experience of the Armenians at the hands of their Turkish oppressors culminated with what is known by historians as the First Genocide of the Twentieth Century, and

WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide began with the murder of hundreds of Armenian intellectuals, and political, religious, and business leaders who were arrested and taken from their homes in Constantinople before dawn on April 24, 1915; and

WHEREAS, The Young Turk regime then in control of the empire planned and executed the unspeakable atrocities committed against the Armenians from 1915 through 1923, that included the torture, starvation, and murder of 1,500,000 Armenians, death marches into the Syrian desert, and the exile of more than 500,000 innocent people;

WHEREAS, While there were some Turks who jeopardized their safety in order to protect Armenians from the slaughter being perpetrated by the Young Turk regime, the massacres of the Armenians constituted one of the most atrocious violations of human rights in the history of the world; and

WHEREAS, Adolph Hitler, in persuading his army commanders that the merciless persecution and killing of Jews, Poles, and other peoples would bring no retribution, declared, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians”; and

WHEREAS, Unlike other peoples and governments that have admitted the abuses and crimes of predecessor regimes, and despite the overwhelming weight of evidence, the Republic of Turkey has denied the occurrence of the crimes against humanity committed by the Young Turk rulers, and those denials compound the grief of the few remaining survivors of the atrocities and desecrate the memory of the victims; and

WHEREAS, By consistently remembering and forcefully condemning the atrocities committed against the Armenians and honoring the survivors, as well as other victims of similar heinous conduct, we guard against repetition of such acts of genocide; and

WHEREAS, California is home to the largest population of Armenians in the United States, and those citizens have enriched our state through leadership in the fields of academia, medicine, business, agriculture, government, and the arts, and are proud and patriotic practitioners of American citizenship and that Fresno State is home to the Armenian Studies Program, the Armenian Students Organization and many students of Armenian descent;

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Associated Students Senate, hereby designates Monday, April 24, 2000, as the “California State University, Fresno Student Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23”; and be it further Resolved, That the Associated Students transmit copies of this resolution to the President of California State University, Fresno to all other pertinent officials on the Fresno State campus, and to all clubs on campus.