VANCOUVER - The UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) voted tonight to support a $700 donation to the 2011 Canadian Flotilla to Gaza by the campus Social Justice Centre. The meeting came after two weeks of hardline anti-Palestine rhetoric and bullying on campus by pro-Israeli government groups.
The vote came after three and a half hours of failed ammendents and concerns about the "consequences" of allowing the donation. Among the concerns voiced by some AMS members were whether they could be sued in the future, whether their careers might suffer and whether allowing the aid would upset the Canadian government. In the end, AMS members voted 26-10 in favor of the small donation.
AMS president Bijan Ahmadian unilaterally froze the centre's donation to Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights two weeks ago and at one point called campus security when SPHR president Omar Shaban confronted him. Social Justice Centre members say they have been harrassed and bullied despite the centre's mandate to support struggles for social justice. The AMS provides a $10,000 budget for the students’ union resource group, part of which is earmarked for funding humanitarian aid.