UWindsor: BDS referendum didn’t adhere to processes set out by UWSA
The University of Windsor sign is shown in this file photo in Windsor, Ont., on Nov.16. 2012. (Melanie Borrelli / CTV Windsor)
A controversial referendum at the University of Windsor was not carried out correctly according to an investigation by the school’s lawyer.
In an email sent out to students, UWindsor president Dr. Alan Wildeman released the findings of the investigation that looked at the process used by the University of Windsor Student Alliance regarding a BDS referendum.
Lawyer Raj Anand addressed five major allegations, all of which he says have been substantiated by the investigation.
“The petition to hold the BDS referendum that was submitted to the UWSA council had at most 404 valid signatures (not the required 500), and as such the BDS referendum was not properly brought to the council,” the email states.
The Palestinian Solidarity Group put forth the referendum which would have seen a boycott of products, divesting from companies that create those products and sanctions against companies that are from Israel.
On March 2, a total of 798 eligible students out 1300 voted in favour of the referendum. The vote follows a break-in at a university office, where an anti-Semitic slur was spray painted onto a flag.
Anand’s other findings are as followed:
- Changes have been made to the structure of the UWSA executive group in ways that are in violation of the bylaws and the constitution of the UWSA, and those changes resulted in participation in UWSA meetings and votes by individuals who were not entitled to participate in those meetings and votes.
- Over the past year the UWSA Executive and council have contained members who do not meet the criteria of membership set out in the UWSA constitution.
- The motion to hold a BDS referendum occurred without legitimate quorum and involved votes cast by non-members.
- The BDS referendum was unclear and ambiguous, and contained several questions rather than one question as required, and therefore was not consistent with Bylaw 85.
As a result, the university says the referendum failed to follow the bylaws and constitution of the UWSA.
Earlier this month, Wildeman requested the UWSA defer discussion on the referendum until the investigation could be completed.