I was one of three defendants in support of the BDS referendum during the appeal.
First, the author indicates that the Affiliate Appeals Board (AAB) decided to strike down the referendum. It did no such thing; in fact, the appeal decision explicitly stated that it “believes in the spirit of the referendum” and “would support a future referendum and education campaign.” It simply took issue with the wording of the question that would be put forth.
Second, many people have expressed concerns with the appeal board’s process aside from “disliking [the] decision.” A member of the AAB himself spoke out about the unfairness of the process on Sunday’s King's University College Student's Council (KUCSC) meeting, highlighting numerous breaches of procedural fairness.
There were several issues, including, no official call to question to vote; a 63-page document (which included only one side’s arguments) was produced after the Christmas break and only three days before the appeal, leaving the board with limited time to review the materials. the board was not briefed about its expectations or responsibilities and it was not made clear which Terms of Reference or policy was being used to govern the meeting, among other procedural breaches.
This is the reason that council voted to have a third-party lawyer review the procedure. It wasn't because the councillors did not like the outcome, but because the process behind that outcome was questionable at best and illegitimate at worst.
Whether for a BDS referendum, decisions on budgeting, or for other council issues, it is important to ensure that the AAB follows a process to safeguard the democratic process of elected student representatives' decisions.
Third, the author makes reference to the “tyranny of the majority” — a phrase that was leveled a number of times in the appeal itself. Besides the irony of the author daring to hurl such accusations while bringing around 50 non-King's students to the council meeting on Sunday in an effort to sway votes. There are more pressing concerns with such an offensive allegation.
I have trouble understanding how a majority has even developed, let alone how it could do so “tyrannically”. Isn’t the entire purpose of this referendum to have the student body vote? i.e. to arrive at a majority?
There’s no evidence what the majority of the student body at King’s will even agree upon with respect to this referendum. If anything, it appears that an appeal by two biased individuals, one of whom is not even a King’s student, continues to thwart any essence of democracy by prolonging the wording of this question to prevent the student body from voting.
Voting delayed, it seems, is voting denied.
-Leo Kniivila, history II