Students ask for CSU to take action against Islamophobia

RCM talks divestment from ScotiaBank, transparency and fight against Islamophobia

Photo Ireland Compton

The Concordia Student Union (CSU) held its regular council meeting (RCM) on March 13. The meeting discussed a divestment from ScotiaBank, a motion for transparency between councilors and executives and Islamophobia on campus. 

Divestment from ScotiaBank 

A motion to divest from the bank was presented by Dave Plant, a councillor representing the Arts and Science Faculty. A proposed motion sought for the CSU to transfer its funds from ScotiaBank to Desjardins Caisse Populaire as the CSU currently uses ScotiaBank for all its financial services. The bank has been accused of investing in Elbit systems, which produce weapons for the Israeli Defense Force who are engaging in an on-going ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. In addition, ScotiaBank’s shareholders, Vanguard and Blackrock, are major investors in weapons manufacturing.  

The motion was passed unanimously. 

Motion on transparency 

Towards the end of the RCM, Adam Mills, a councillor representing the Arts and Science Faculty, brought forward a motion for transparency between councillors and executives at the CSU. 

The motion states that “several members of council have expressed discontent with being in the dark regarding a poor relationship between the executive and unionised members of CSU staff boiling over into the last council meeting.” 

During the CSU’s Feb.14 RCM, heated disagreements broke out between CSU’s executive team and the Legal Information Clinic (LIC). The clinic’s team had come to discuss its services  due to an executive decision from the CSU to potentially cut LIC funds and privatize the clinic. 

The CSU executive team has refused to comment about the current state of LIC or the clinic’s relationship with the CSU. 

After Mills’ motion was presented, the CSU went into a closed session, which The Link could not enter. 

Islamophobia on campus

Before the meeting adjourned, several student representatives from the Muslim Student Association (MSA) came forward to the CSU to express their concerns regarding the rise of Islamophobia on campus. 

For the students’ safety, The Link has redacted all names. 

A number of students expressed that they do not feel safe on campus, due to Zionist students verbally harassing them on a regular basis. Several students accused their peers of calling them terrorists, pro-Hamas supporters and MSA terrorists. 

In addition, a student called out a councillor at the CSU for partaking in the discrimination. 

Students also accused StartUp Nation, an Israeli club on campus, of spreading Islamophobic narratives on their Instagram.

MSA pleaded to the CSU to take action. No concrete decision was made at the meeting.