uWindsor to investigate controversial student referendum

March 6, 2014

University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman has asked the university’s Student Alliance (UWSA) to defer finalizing a referendum on whether to support the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which asks individuals, corporations, and governments to boycott companies that produce in Israeli-occupied areas of Palestine or companies backed by the Israeli government. If passed, the student referendum would make the UWSA officially endorse the movement. Wildeman has expressed concern about the safety of uWindsor students following an incident in which UWSA VP Academic Affairs Jake De Jong’s office was vandalized with graffiti that said “Zionist” over a Star of David. Wildeman told the UWSA in a letter that “he respects its right to conduct a referendum and that the university wants all students to feel free to express and debate their views on important issues.” “However, [uWindsor has] begun an investigation into complaints about the referendum process,” wrote Wildeman. CBC | uWindsor Statement | Wildeman Letter

Update: March 7, 2014

The University of Windsor Students’ Alliance (UWSA) has responded to a letter from uWindsor President Alan Wildeman regarding a controversial Israel boycott referendum. A UWSA statement on Facebook says that since the UWSA is an autonomous body, complaints regarding the referendum should be brought to the union’s Chief Returning Officer to be examined by an Electoral Monitoring Committee. “The UWSA will continue to work together with the university to work towards the best situation for all involved,” reads the statement. UWSA Statement