The Union Trustees met on Tuesday night and amongst a packed agenda the proposed policy to support BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) agreed at Student Assembly was discussed.
The Trustees are very conscious that they wish to support democratic decisions, but also note the tensions that the motion has caused. There has also been suggestion that active support of this policy by the Union, which is a registered charity, could be perceived to be outside of the Charitable objects of the Union, and in breach of our Equality and Diversity policy. The Trustees believe it therefore unwise to pursue active implementation of this proposed policy until these issues are fully investigated.
The Trustees have tasked the Chief Executive to investigate further and to consider opinion from The University, The NUS and other Students’ Unions who have and have not adopted similar policies, also opinion from our members and political leaders and any legal advice if necessary. The investigation will produce a report on the legal opinion, the commercial impact of boycott, the steer of student democracy and of course maintaining campus cohesion and will be presented to the next Trustee board in March 2015.
Until that time the Board notes the democratic decision made at Student Assembly and the level of support and opposition demonstrated throughout the campus community on this issue. The Board respects all opinion expressed in a free, fair and respectful manner.
The Union expects debate on this issue to continue and encourages that to happen, but it will not tolerate behaviour that is threatening, hateful or discriminatory to any groups or individuals whichever side of the debate they sit.