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TMU faculty association passes motion to promote academic freedom in support of Palestine

By Jasmine Makar and Jerry Zhang

The Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association (TFA) voted in favour of a motion to form a committee in support of academic freedom and solidarity with Palestine at their Annual General Meeting, according to a TFA press release issued on May 6.

According to the release, the committee is set to proceed with several objectives including a comprehensive audit, overseeing the divestment of the university’s investments and reviewing their alleged cooperation with Israeli institutions.

This audit will review the university’s “potential complicity in arming Israel through institutions and corporations” amid the current conflict in the Middle East.  

Other areas expected to be investigated include “portfolio shares, endowments, TFA’s pension fund, short-term working capital assets, and all financial holdings of the university,” the press release reads.

The motion also calls for the divestment of the university’s financial holdings that are allegedly linked to the conflict as well as ending all of Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) alleged cooperation with Israeli academic and cultural institutions. 

An Instagram post made by TMU’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a student-run community organization, said the committee formation is a “victory” and that “this is just the beginning for TMU.”

In a statement sent to The Eyeopener on May 8, the SJP said, “We think this a great step forward and this motion means a lot to Palestinian students who have been feeling isolated on campus for months on end.”

The SJP also stressed they “believe the school has not done anything to properly address the genocide in Palestine.”

In an emailed statement sent to The Eye on May 9, the university said they are “aware of a motion being passed by the membership of the TFA” and that it would be “premature” for them to comment on it now.

“The association has yet to approach the University on this issue,” read the statement. 

As stated in the press release, TFA stands with five other Canadian Faculty Associations who implemented similar measures for the advancements of human rights globally. 

The Eye reached out to the TFA for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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