Press Release: CIJA welcomes strong statement from McGill raising serious concerns about how a Jewish student was targeted


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 2, 2019

Press Release: CIJA welcomes strong statement from McGill raising serious concerns about how a Jewish student was targeted

Montreal, QC— Today, the administration at McGill released a statement raising serious concerns about the Student’s Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) singling out of Jordyn Wright, a Jewish student and SSMU councillor. A motion adopted last week by SSMU’s legislative council called for the resignation of Wright from the student government because she agreed to participate in a trip to Israel. Tonight, SSMU’s Board of Directors will decide whether to ratify the motion.

In his statement, Mr. Fabrice Labeau, Deputy Provost for Student Life and Learning, expressed the university administration’s serious concerns about the motion and urged SSMU’s Board of Directors not to ratify it. He also added that students should never be targeted for their identity or political and religious beliefs. Mr. Labeau’s full statement is available here.

In a separate development, several SSMU councillors and constituents published an open letter yesterday sharply criticizing and denouncing the motion and calling on the SSMU Board of Directors to reject it.

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 commends the McGill administration for clearly articulating its opposition to attempts to ostracize a Jewish student on the basis of her identity.

“We are hopeful that the Deputy Provost’s statement will have its intended effect and that tonight the student body will firmly reject the harassment, intimidation, and exclusion of its members and henceforth refrain from raising obstacles to students’ freedom to pursue new and formative experiences.

“The unjust treatment experienced by Ms. Wright is clearly not a reflection of the broader McGill community, as evidenced by an open letter published by multiple SSMU councillors and constituents.

“CIJA will continue to monitor developments on McGill’s campus and provide support to our partners at Hillel and the students at McGill who are addressing these instances of discrimination from the front line.”

Additional Background

  • “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.

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