Leeds university cancels referendum on steps to combat antisemitism

Leeds university cancels referendum on steps to combat antisemitism

A motion on ways to protect Jewish students was voted down on Monday, triggering a campus-wide referendum

Leeds University Union
Leeds University Union

Leeds University’ student union has cancelled a controversial referendum on measures to combat antisemitism on campus.

The motion included several student-proposed measures to combat antisemitism in the university: adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism and its examples, providing antisemitism training and commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day.

The motion was voted down on Monday, triggering a campus-wide referendum, meaning thousands of students were going to decide whether the student union should combat antisemitism.

But it’s since emerged that the measures were already in place.

“After discussion, a collective decision has been reached that a referendum on the idea will not be happening,” reads a letter from the union.

“LUU and JSoc are confident that the content of the idea is already in place at LUU,”

The letter, sent to Jewish members yesterday, says: “For a long time, the definition of antisemitism used by LUU in our complaints process, has covered the working definition laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“The elected student leadership and senior staff within LUU regularly undergo awareness briefings around antisemitism and any form of hate crime.”

In a shared statement, the Union of Jewish Students and Leeds J-Soc said they are “pleased to note Leeds University’s letter of support for Jewish students”.

The statement continues: “In recognition that LUU already commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day, provides antisemitism training and uses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, a referendum has been prevented, which would have caused great distress to Jewish students.

“It is clear that a number of steps need to be taken to clarify process and solidify provisions to protect Jewish students, and we look forward to collaborating with LUU on this process.”

The referendum has now been cancelled.


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