Student win: University of Windsor Student Association

April 2, 2024

The University of Windsor Student Association has voted to cut ties with banks! The UWSA passed two resolutions at their AGM related to Banks Off Campus and BDS, including ending sponsorships, terminating the OnCampus kiosk, adopting an ethical investment policy and appointing a Palestinian-led BDS committee. 
At their AGM the UWSA passed a Banks Off Campus motion committing to:

  • Sign the National Student Union Letter calling on the Big 5 banks to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Develop and refer a policy to the Governance Committee which binds the UWSA to high standards of ethical, moral, and environmental responsibility when seeking the services of financial institutions
  • Exercise section 18.1 of its by-laws in the new fiscal year for the possibility of moving all its finances to an alternative banking institution
  • Issue a public statement about the removal of the RBC kiosk from our campus during the Fall 2023 Semester.

The UWSA also passed a motion in relation to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli apartheid, committing to:

  • ⁠Send a letter of support to the University of Windsor administration, Senate and the Board of Governors urging academic and financial divestment from Israeli apartheid products
  • Recognize anti-Palestinian racism as a class of discrimination and take action to support students’ rights and freedoms of speech, expression, association, and protest along with advocating for academic research speaking on and about Palestine
  • Author a statement re-affirming their solidarity with Palestinian students each year which shall be published subject to the approval of its Board of Directors
  • ⁠⁠Do everything commercially viable to ensure that UWSA does not support or profit from companies that support or profit from Israeli apartheid and operate on occupied Palestinian lands in line with global BDS guidelines and the University of Windsor’s Responsible Investment Policy (March 2023).
  • ⁠Establish a BDS committee under its policies, led by Palestinian voices to hold the UWSA accountable by acting as an advisory sounding board in solidarity with the BDS cause and with representation from prominent Palestinian solidarity student groups on campus (e.g. PSG).
  • The UWSA shall conduct a review of its investments annually to present and review with the BDS Committee and present updates at the Annual General Meeting;
  • Ensure that current investments align with ethical investing standards and the objectives of the BDS movement to the fullest extent possible;
  • Not establish new relationships with the Big Five Canadian Banks (RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC, TD and BMO). This entails not allowing any of the aforementioned banks from hosting, co-hosting or sponsoring student union events. T
  • The UWSA shall endeavour to establish relationships with credit unions and financial institutions rooted in our local community.

These wins come as a result of sustained student pressure and activism on campus by climate justice and Palestinian solidarity groups. Solidarity and congratulations to students at the University of Windsor! The students united will never be defeated!

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