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Motion receives criticism following failure to pass at SFUO’s GA, March 25 BOA meeting

On the morning of March 26, following the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa’s (SFUO) latest Board of Administration (BOA) meeting, U of O president Jacques Frémont condemned the string of BDS motions put forward to the SFUO.

The most recent motion, and the third vote on the subject in five months, failed in a vote at the winter General Assembly (GA), and did not reach the two-thirds threshold required to pass it at the March 25 BOA meeting.

Frémont notes in the statement that he normally does not make public comments about SFUO business, given that the federation is an independent entity from the university.

Despite this, he said was compelled to make the statement as he “firmly believe(s) that this issue is divisive and a detriment to an open and welcoming campus environment.”

“By definition, boycotts limit the free exchange of ideas and perspectives and, therefore, run contrary to the core values that guide our University’s core academic mission,” the statement reads. “Moreover, boycotts create an environment where some members of our community may feel insecure and ostracized.”

Although the president writes that it is rare the university will make a statement directly about SFUO affairs, statements from the president in general are uncommon, with the last statement being made in January after the death of the U of O student.

For BDS on Canadian campuses, this marks the 11th defeat over the past two years, with similar votes having failed at the University of Toronto twice, the University of Waterloo, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Winnipeg, and now three times at the University of Ottawa.

More updates on the March 25 SFUO BOA to follow.