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Important February UGM Motions

The next SOAS Students Union General Meeting (UGM) is set for Tuesday 17th February. There are two motions here which focus on some of the most heated debates in the past few weeks: the format of UGMs and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

For your convenience, you can read the motions here:

 The SOAS UGM Format is NOT accessible or inclusive 

Proposer: Richard McDonald
Seconder: Tom Bromly

The Union notes:

1.1 The SOAS UGM format is not inclusive. People with mental health issues such as anxiety, agoraphobia, or any other ailment that makes sitting in an often aggressive, confrontational environment such as the UGM are unlikely to have their voices heard in SOAS Student Politics. Not to mention physical impairments that can also make it difficult to attend. Why are the screams of certain political banshees heard over others? Why are voices of dissent stood on and silenced? There is no other way to vote on issues unless one subjects themselves to this volatile public environment. The aggression at UGM motions can be triggering.

This Union Believes:

2.1 That every student should have access to vote on issues raised at the UGM. Regardless of their ability to attend. Simple as that.

2.2 That the UGM format has failed to accommodate certain students; only those with an affinity for the UGM layout can have their voices heard.

This Union Resolves:

3.1 To work on creating an inclusive format and make online voting possible so that all students can log-in and vote on issues that affect us all, in the hope of creating a truly representative Student’s Union.


Pro Israel, Pro Palestine, Pro Peace

Proposer: Richard Galber
Seconder: Mossele Paz

The Union notes:

1.1) That in 1933 Hitler was elected by a minority of Germans to lead the country.
1.2 )Within a very short time he had introduced a boycott of the Jews in the academic, cultural, economic and social fields.
1.3) This boycott helped lead to the depersonalisation and delegitimisation of the Jews, leading them to be viewed as less than human, and leading to the largest, and so far, the only industrial type mass murder in history.
1.4) Approximately twelve million people were mass murdered in this way, six million of those being Jews (+/- 70% of Europe’s Jewish population from before the war).
1.5) In 1946 the Arab League instituted a similar boycott of the Jews (which is still in existence today) and resulted in the Ethnic Cleansing of nearly a million Jews from the Arab/Muslim lands.

This Union Believes:

2.1) Wherever education in any form is controlled and dictated by intolerant government and/or organizations, it leads to a diminishing of free speech and personal freedom.
2.2) Academic and cultural boycotts serve to dehumanise and delegitimise their victims.
2.3) Academic and cultural boycotts once instituted, can lead to consequences that could, and probably would never have been contemplated by their initiators.
2.4) That universities and other educational institutions should dedicate their efforts to educating their students, to spread the ideas of enlightenment and freedom and to encourage peaceful coexistence between peoples on our planet.

This Union Resolves:

3.1) To help facilitate peace and harmony between all people.
3.2) To help facilitate peace and understanding between Jews and Muslims as a result of current and past animosities.
3.3) To help encourage and facilitate dialogue and peace between Israeli and Palestinian parties in the current conflict.
3.4) To facilitate the free flow of ideas between all people and institutions to foster good will and a more peaceful existence for all.
3.5) To promote dialogue between all members of the SOAS community in the pursuit of freedom and equality for all, and to actively pursue this goal, and to prevent the polarisation of groups by the advocating for and on behalf of only one side in any conflict or difference of opinions, no matter what they may be.
3.6) That this union is for all the students of SOAS and should therefore endeavour to increase the participation of all, rather than being representative of only a small active and vocal minority.

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