UQ students support Palestine in historic union meeting vote

*This article was edited at 9:22am 31 May 2024*

University of Queensland students came together in huge numbers to endorse the pro-Palestine movement, in an unprecedented showing of student support and a major campus protest. 

In a Student General Meeting on Wednesday night, students voted in support of UQ cutting ties with companies that supply weapons to the Israeli Defence Force, shutting down the Boeing Centre, and financially divesting from Israel. The three motions were voted en bloc, which means they were voted on as a singular motion. 

This means that the proposals are now the official stance of the UQ Union. 

Over 1,000 students attended the Student General Meeting at the St Lucia campus, causing long lines outside the meeting room to register and resulting in two additional rooms opening up to accommodate the overflow. 

After the meeting, approximately 1,500 people marched through the campus and protested in front of the administration building, with reports the event is the largest on-campus protest held at UQ in decades. 

The meeting was not affected by other disruptions on campus. 

Before the meeting was due to begin, UQ received an anonymous bomb threat at approximately 4:40pm. 

UQ released a statement informing students and staff that Queensland Police had been notified after an anonymous report was received about a threat in the Great Court.  

Buildings surrounding the Great Court were evacuated, with loudspeaker announcements stating that a bomb threat had been received, and messages notifying students of a “police incident”. 

The threat was officially cleared around 9:30pm on Wednesday night, with a university spokesperson confirming the report was a hoax. 

The threat did not impact the Student General Meeting, and was focused on the area where the student encampment is located.  

General meetings are considered significant events for UQ Union due to the precedent they can potentially set, with the last event held in 2019. Only current UQ students are allowed to attend and vote in general meetings; they require a minimum of 300 student attendees and only those physically present in the designated meeting rooms were able to vote. 

The Union has not released an official statement about the outcome of the vote at this time.

Celeste Muller
Celeste Muller

Celeste (she/her) is a Meanjin/Brisbane based writer and Editor at Glass Media. She has a Bachelor's degree in Design (Interior Design) and is currently studying Journalism and Economics at QUT.

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