Controversial referendum deferred at UWindsor
A decision on a controversial referendum at the University of Windsor has been deferred.
At a Thursday meeting, members of the University of Windsor Student Alliance voted 18-14 in favour of deferring discussions on a referendum which would see a boycott of products, divesting from companies that create those products and sanctions against companies that are from Israel.
Supporters of the deferral say they were respecting the wishes of the University President.
Alan Wildeman requested council defer results of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS referendum.
On March 2, a total of 798 eligible students out 1300 voted in favour of the referendum.
The question was put on a ballot after the Palestinian Solidarity Group at the university gathered 500 signatures on a petition, which by constitution, the student's alliance must then pose to the students in the form of a referendum.
The vote follows a break-in at a university office, where an anti-Semitic slur was spray painted onto a flag.
A Windsor police investigation has since classified the matter as a hate crime.
Wildeman has hired a human rights lawyer to investigate complaints about the referendum.
“We've had so many complaints so we looking into it,” he said.
Still, twelve faculty members were not impressed, writing a letter to Wildeman saying he should not intervene in the process.
A student who attended the meeting, Brent Taylor says the move was undemocratic.
He said, "You have a well-advertised referendum vote, okay, you couldn't miss the posters all over the school.”
Taylor says everyone knew it was coming and had an opportunity to vote for, or against it, and the yes won.
However, there is a concern the referendum may discourage some students from returning or consider the University of Windsor next school year, and believe the matter is not something the student body should be focusing their time on.
Student council may discuss the issue at its next general meeting at the end of the month.