Letter to the Editor

To the council members of the Concordia Student Union,

Israel on Campus: Concordia University is an initiative geared to educate others on Israel’s commitment to democracy in the Middle East, Israel’s humanitarian efforts, demographics, history, culture, and environmental initiatives. We strive to create a platform where students can discuss, debate, and work together to understand the challenges and accomplishments of peaceful progress in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15 it was brought to the attention of IOC that a meeting was called for Friday, Oct. 17 in order to discuss and vote upon the possibility of holding a referendum regarding the BDS movement at Concordia in the upcoming General Elections.

The members of the student club Israel on Campus: Concordia University would like to express their feelings of discontent with the CSU’s choice to conduct a council meeting regarding a referendum of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement) on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 at 6 p.m. Please note that this last-minute meeting was called on the day of Simchat Torah, a Jewish Holiday, and at the time when the Sabbath begins—an interesting coincidence. The chosen timing for this meeting conflicts with the ability for Jewish students on Campus to attend, given the restrictions of a religious Jewish holiday and of the observance of the Sabbath.

The sponsors who brought forward this motion, namely Rami Yahia, Lucinda Marshall-Kiparissis and John Talbot, and Charles Bourassa (VP of Student life) were notified about Israel on Campus’ concerns of being misrepresented. After politely reaching out to the sponsors, expressing our concern and asking them to move the council meeting to a later time — given that Jewish students would not be able to represent themselves due to their religious convictions, the councillors ignored this fair and reasonable request.

The purpose of this statement is to point out the disrespect with which a sensitive and important issue was approached, especially since the group of students that would be directly affected by this motion could not come to defend themselves and to have their voice heard on the matter.

Please try to understand the reason of our unhappiness towards the CSU council. These kinds of  unacceptable behaviours should not be tolerated on campus, especially since the principle goal of the student union is to represent all of the students of Concordia University.

 

Regards,

Israel on Campus: Concordia University

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