Results of Sever Ties Referendum Announced
The ballots have been counted, and many students at the University of Waterloo don’t want to sever ties with the institutions named in the referendum question. Vice-President, Education Stephane Hamade made the announcement at 12:30 p.m. in the SLC Great Hall.
Students were able to vote from January 25-27 at vote.feds.ca, or at a polling station in the Student Life Centre. A total of 4216 students voted - 1803 of them voted “yes,” 2329 of them voted “no,” and 84 students declined.
“Following this result, the official stance of the Federation of Students is that we do not have a stance on the University of Waterloo severing ties with the institutions mentioned in the referendum question,” said Hamade. “This means Feds will not be advocating for this because of the results. If students have questions about the referendum procedures, they’re able to email email@example.com. If they’d like to know more about the opposing sides, information is available on their websites.”
History of the Referendum
In November 2015, the Federation of Students received a petition of over 4000 signatures to initiate a referendum for the following question:
"Do you think the University of Waterloo should sever ties with the following institutions due to their complicity in violations of the human rights of Palestinians: University of Haifa, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science?"
As per the Feds by-laws, "A Referendum for any purpose connected with the affairs of the Corporation may only be called by: A requisition in writing of either twenty-nine hundred (2900) voting members or at least ten percent (10%) of the voting members of the Corporation, whichever is fewer…" Feds President Chris Lolas was then to verify the validity of the signatures. It was determined that over 2900 signatures were from voting members of Feds, and a referendum was called.