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Legal Concerns Postpone SRC Meeting on Motion for Palestine

A much anticipated meeting of the Student Representative Council (SRC) was postponed after legal concerns were brought to the Students' Association Board (SAB).

The meeting, set to be held on 6 February, was set to discuss a motion advocating further action in support of Palestine and Palestinian students at St Andrews. The motion in question had been brought by petition. The legal concerns in question were raised in a confidential email to the Board from “members of the Association”, and made reference to “a legal opinion prepared for another student organisation on a related matter, and claimed that some or all of this advice may apply to the case of the emergency SRC meeting,” as stated in the published minutes of the Board’s emergency meeting.

In an email to all members of the Association, the Board outlined the reasons behind their decision to postpone the meeting:

“Tonight's extraordinary meeting of the Students' Representative Council has been postponed. This afternoon, the Board of Trustees of the Students' Association received a series of concerns regarding the legal requirements of students’ unions to balance freedom of speech and other concerns.”

“As a registered charity, the Board has a fiduciary duty to seekand [sic] follow legal advice. The unequivocal legal advice provided to the Board late this afternoon is that the concerns presented must be properly explored and addressed before the meeting can take place.” 

“For that reason, the Board has taken the decision to postpone the SRC meeting.”

The postponed meeting follows recent discussions surrounding the ability of student representatives to discuss the ongoing events in Israel and Palestine. Last semester, Rector Stella Maris’ statement on Gaza resulted in both praise and backlash from within the community. The Rector has shaken off calls from some in the community for her resignation.

In the published minutes of the emergency meeting, the Board “affirmed their intention that the meeting should still go ahead once these concerns were addressed and their commitment to free speech and the SRC as the legitimate voice of St Andrews students.”

Image: University of St Andrews

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