FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2019
Press Release: CIJA welcomes rejection of discriminatory motion targeting McGill Jewish student
Montreal, QC— Last night, the Student’s Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) Board of Directors rejected a discriminatory motion by the SSMU’s Legislative Council that called for the resignation of Jordyn Wright, a Jewish student and SSMU councillor. The motion called for Ms. Wright’s resignation because she agreed to participate in a trip to Israel.
The SSMU Board of Directors’ decision came after widespread condemnation of the motion. Perhaps the most damning statement came from the McGill administration. In a formal statement, Deputy Provost for Student Life and Learning, Mr. Fabrice Labeau, expressed the university administration’s serious concerns and warned that the university would not tolerate “a culture of ostracization”. The administration joined a chorus of voices that included hundreds of SSMU councillors and constituents who published an open letter yesterday sharply criticizing the motion.
In response to these developments, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, Co-Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Québec (CIJA-Québec) issued the following:
“CIJA applauds the SSMU Board of Directors for unequivocally rejecting the Legislative Council’s discriminatory motion targeting a Jewish student leader. Since last Thursday, hundreds of students have denounced the motion, while McGill University’s Deputy Provost for Student Life and Learning, Fabrice Labeau, took an exemplary stand in a message to the McGill community by stating that the motion was “contrary to the University’s values of inclusion, diversity and respect” and that it “represents a very serious breach of trust”. He called on the student government to “take proper action.”
“Discrimination, racism, and any attempt to ostracize students based on their identity have no place on campus, or anywhere else for that matter. CIJA will proudly continue to provide support to our partners at Hillel and the courageous students who are addressing these instances of discrimination from the front line.”
- “The decision made by the SSMU Legislative Council is contrary to the University’s values of inclusion, diversity and respect. Furthermore, it appears to diverge from SSMU’s own Constitution and it represents a very serious breach of trust. For that reason, we call upon the SSMU Board of Directors to seriously consider the concerns raised by students and take proper action.” Read Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Fabrice Labeau’s full statement here.
- Read Hillel Montreal’s statement here.
- Read CIJA’s initial statement on the issue here.
- Read an open letter to the SSMU legislative council here.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA including Federation CJA.