RECampaign period begins for King's referendum on 'Israeli occupation'

On March 13 and 14, King’s students will vote on whether or not to divide our campus by choosing to boycott Israel, and Israel alone.

We must say no.

First, the referendum question is deeply flawed. In the process to create it, the King's University Students' Council (KUCSC) ignored the spirit of a decision made by the Affiliate Appeals Board, as defined by the board members themselves. Then, thinking to promote equal human rights for everyone, we submitted a question surrounding a broad responsible investment policy. Astonishingly, in a 14-10 vote, the KUCSC instead chose to single out Israelis alone.

Second, student safety is at risk. This boycott is nothing more than a discriminatory blacklist targeting one group based solely on national origin. This is an absurd denial of the right, afforded to every student in the KUCSC Community Standards Policy, to be free from discrimination.

Finally, if passed, this referendum simply does nothing for student life at King’s. In fact, it will put us outside the Canadian consensus on this issue. These boycotts have been roundly condemned by the governments of Canada and Ontario. Across the country, most campuses have rejected the movement altogether or — like at Western — student unions have chosen to focus on fixing real student issues instead of divisive referenda.

We should always be able to speak academically about tough issues on campus. But when it comes to the student experience, we must all recognize that inclusion – not exclusion – should guide campus policies. Let’s build bridges, not boycotts.

— Cameran Sleewa, King's Political Science III