The BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) referendum has failed to pass after reaching neither quorum nor a majority.
The referendum question put forward was as follows: “Do you support your student union (AMS) in boycotting products and divesting from companies that support Israeli war crimes, illegal occupation and the oppression of Palestinians?”
In order for it to have passed, 4,333 students, or eight per cent of students, would have had to vote “yes,” along with achieving a 50 per cent majority of “yes” votes. The referendum failed after only 1,396 people voted “yes,” with 52 per cent of voters voting “no.”
This is the second time that BDS has been put forward and failed to reach quorum.
BDS has been a controversial topic on campus, with many voices and campaigns both for and against the referendum. The issue was even taken to the BC Supreme Court after a UBC student filed a petition in an attempt to prevent the question from being put forward. This delayed the referendum from being put forward during the March AMS election, but ultimately failed.
The by-election, which also featured voting for the Student Legal Fund Society board of directors, only had a 5.5 per cent turnout. This was in stark contrast to the 20.7 per cent turnout of the March AMS elections.