Student council shambles: voting procedures ignored in controversial Israel ruling

The controversial BDS vote saw hundreds demand a repeal

Following Thursday’s eventful EUSA Student Council meeting, calls are being made by a collection of disgruntled students to repeal the results of the votes.

The meeting – which included votes on controversial motions such as the resignation of the principal, boycotting Israel and endorsing a “remain” vote in the EU – garnered national media attention after Imogen Wilson VPAA faced expulsion for a safe space complaint filed against her.

Imo Wilson was threatened with removal from the vote

But students are continuing to discuss the tumultuous meeting for another reason. The voting process regarding BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) which requires individuals to show their matriculation card to receive a voting slip, was discarded due to the sheer numbers trying to vote.

As over 400 voters flooded through the doors of Teviot Row House, EUSA workers panicked amidst the chaos, gave up on checking student cards and allegedly began handing out multiple voting slips.

Allana, a Politics student, said: “I didn’t have to show my student card and when I was outside the room, a number of students were heard complaining that they didn’t get their cards checked either”.

Linda, a Masters student in Integrative Neuroscience, who attended to vote against Boycotting, Divesting and Sanctioning Israel, was alarmed by the fact that nobody in her group was asked for identification, saying: “It caused me a lot of concern. My friend had brought her sister along and it would have been so easy to have taken another piece of paper and dishonestly voted”.

A second year International Relations student, Tim, said: “I told the EUSA worker when I was handing in my voting slip that nobody had checked how many times I’d voted or asked who I was. She just shrugged and told me that it was very busy and hard to keep track”.

Accusations such as these have resulted in calls to repeal the votes at the next Student Council meeting and bring the motions to an online referendum.

The motion on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctioning is likely to be the focus of the calls for repeal as it only passed by 93 votes.

Jonny Ross-Tatam, the President of EUSA, responded to the close results by saying: “Contentious issues like these are the reason why we had the referendum in the first place.

Under the new rules, anything that falls between 33% and 66% goes to an online referendum.

400+ turned up to try and vote

“Therefore, a motion could be put forward to repeal it for the next Student Council and take the BDS motion to an online referendum”.

This means that as BDS only passed with 58.7% of the vote, if a motion to repeal BDS were to be taken to November Council, as the proposal only comes into place next academic year, it is very likely they this would result in the vote being redone on MyEd.