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Written by Student Rights on 19 November 2009 at 1pm

Edinburgh students reject boycott on Israel/ban on BNP

breakingOn Tuesday, a record turnout of over 650 students took seats at the EUSA AGM. Seats in George Square Lecture Theatre were filled, whilst over 100 more students were directed to Appleton Tower to take part via a video link.

Students voted strongly in favour of a motion that would have enabled EUSA to hold online referendums but it failed to receive the 75% necessary to pass. They also voted against bringing Bibles back to Pollock Halls. Motions to ban EUSA internal flights and to ban cigarette sales in EUSA shops also fell, along with motions on low carbon travel, boycotting Israel and a no platform policy.

Of particular interest to Student Rights were the motions that failed on the issues of banning cigarette sales, boycotting Israel and the no platform policy, which was regarded by mnay as a debate on the British National Party's presence on campus. In line with freedoms of speech and the non-politicisation of Student Unions, the majority overwhelmingly rejected the motions to boycott Israel and effectively ban the BNP.

Furthermore, while an amendment was made to the ban on cigarette sales to take them off display rather than take them off sale, the motion failed due to the lack of numbers in the room by this point. It seems many students left after the Israel boycott motion failed, an issue which clearly struck a chord with the students of EUSA as being overtly political and which aimed to discriminate based on the views of a certain minority within the union. Developing...